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How to Build A Business Plan That Actually Works [Free Template]

Published by in category Daily, Promo | Comments are closed


We’re living in a golden age of startups and side hustles, where it seems like more people than ever before are striking out on their own with new business ventures.

Whether you’re just beginning to think about starting a business, or already drafting a formal document with your current business goals, it’s crucial to clearly define the scope of every aspect of the company — from mission, to target customers, to funding and finances, and beyond. 

When you’re just getting started, it can be tempting to think of a business plan as just a catchy company name and a quick description of what you’re selling. But in the back of your mind, you’re probably aware that planning a business involves thinking through a huge number of details and decisions. It can be daunting to consider the full scope of all that starting your business really takes.

HubSpot and General Assembly have teamed up to help get you started on the right foot with our free Business Plan Template. Inside, you’ll find templates and checklists to help you:

  • Sell the story of your company
  • Describe your product line and plan for how to stand out among competitors
  • Put together the necessary financial projections to make a strong start
  • Plan longer-term goals and metrics
  • Consider legal formalities that require attention
  • Create your buyer persona and determine your product/marketing fit

Click here to download your Business Plan Template and get started.

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How to Get Started With Paid Search [Free Guide]

Published by in category Daily, Promo | Comments are closed


In 2016, 96% of Google’s revenue came from paid search (or pay-per-click) advertising. Clearly, marketers are taking advantage of AdWords, but what does a great PPC campaign even look like? How do you ensure it drives ROI for your company? How do you even do a Google AdWords campaign?

To help you get started the right way, we’re breaking down the basics of how to use paid search below.

The following is an excerpt from the ebook How to Use Google AdWords, just one of the resources included in The Ultimate Free Google AdWords PPC Kit we created with our friends at SEMrush. The kit includes the full ebook, a template, and a checklist — everything you need to manage keywords, campaigns and ad groups successfully. If you’d like to access the full kit, click here.

How to Use Paid Search

All too often, companies — small businesses especially — think that if they just pay to be on a search engine, they don’t have to invest time and resources in search engine optimization to rank higher organically. 

It’s important to make clear that paid search is not a replacement for anything, but should instead be used to complement other inbound marketing strategies. Paid online advertising takes a lot of time and effort, a lot of resources, and a lot of management, and it’s something you really need to invest in.

Let’s take a look at some of the useful things you can do with paid search.

Landing Page Testing

One great way to use paid search is for testing and optimizing your landing pages. So, for instance, here’s the search engine results page for “cat food for older cats”, and you see some paid results for this specific search query:

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You can take that one ad and actually set it to go to two different destination URLs, and therefore, to two different landing pages.

So for a cat food ad, you could have one ad going to a page with one offer (a guide on feeding techniques for your older cat), and the other to a page for another offer (an actual product page for cat food).

You could also have the ad go to two different landing pages that are for the same offer. For example, if you wanted to test a feature of your forms, you could have two versions of the same landing page, each with a different form layout, and send the ad to each of those. This is called A/B testing, a very important and highly recommended practice for optimizing your landing pages.

Paid search is a great way to do landing page A/B testing because it allows you to direct traffic to your choice of pages, split this traffic to different pages, and ultimately find the pages that convert at the highest rate.

Finding New Keywords

In addition to landing page testing, you can also use paid search to find new keywords for your campaign. Google AdWords generates a Search Terms report that displays all of the keywords for which your ad has been displayed.

In other words, if you are bidding on the keyword “red shoes”, Google might serve your ad when someone searches “red tennis shoes.” Even though you did not bid on the exact word, the keyword “red tennis shoes” will be included in this report because that’s what the user searched. The report also contains information about the performance of each of the keywords, so you can determine if it’s worth adding that keyword to your campaign.

Below is a sample Search Terms report. On the left hand side is the list of keywords. The ones that show the green “Added” box next to them are the ones that are already in this paid search account.

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The keywords that don’t say “Added” next to them are not currently included in the account. Again, this is a list of the keywords that people are actually typing into the Google search, so it is extremely valuable information.

Take, for instance, the keyword “search engine optimization tutorial'” from the list above. That is an excellent keyword for my campaign, and I’m not buying it yet. Not only that, but I wouldn’t have known about that keyword unless I had generated this report! And to top it all off, I’m able to see that when somebody searches for this keyword and clicks through to my ad, they convert on one of my offers at a rate of 21%.

Now, this high conversion rate tells me not only that I should be buying this keyword, but also that maybe I should consider using this keyword for search engine optimization as well. Maybe I should make a landing page geared toward this keyword, or an offer built around this keyword.

You should use the information in these Search Terms reports, and also in Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner, to discover new keywords that will help you further optimize all of your SEM campaigns. For more information on keyword research, check out this blog post: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: A Beginner’s Guide and the Ultimate keyword research checklist.

Getting in the Game

Another great way to use paid search is to, as we say, “get in the game” and rank higher than your competitors. Let’s look at, which holds the number one ranking in the organic search results for the phrase “cat food”.

For the phrase “dog food”, they don’t rank number one, but they’re still above the fold, meaning that you don’t have to scroll down to see the result when the page comes up. This is great, of course, but their high rank for these keywords does not mean they shouldn’t bother running any paid search ads.

If you do a little research, you’ll find that “pet food” is also a big keyword in this space, and PetSmart ranks far below the fold for it. On top of that, they’re not running a paid search campaign with Google AdWords either. But their competitor, Petco, does have a paid search campaign, and so their ad appears on the results page, while PetSmart does not. So this is a sample instance where running a paid search campaign makes a lot of sense.

EBOOK - How to Use Google AdWords4.jpg

Paid Search Can’t Stand Alone

When you think about how you should use paid search, one of the best ways to think about it is to use it as a complement to your inbound marketing efforts. You can use paid search to maximize your coverage on the search engine’s result page (SERP).

For instance, here we have the search term “inbound marketing.” You’ll see that there’s an organic search listing for HubSpot that ranks second on the page (just after Wikipedia), but we’re also buying the keyword “inbound marketing,” which displays our paid search ad for it.

So now we have that natural search ad, the paid one, and, if you scroll down the page, you’ll find yet another organic search listing for HubSpot via SlideShare. This widespread coverage on the search engine results page for “inbound marketing” helps to establish HubSpot as an authoritative figure for inbound marketing, and drives more traffic to our pages.

The good news is — you can do this for your business as well! Take the opportunity to establish your company as a leader in your industry by increasing your presence on search engines with paid search campaigns.

Ready to get started with the full ebook, template, and checklist? Click here to access the complete Ultimate Free Google AdWords PPC Kit. 

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Need to Convert Traffic Into More Leads? Experts Bust Common CRO Myths [Live Hangout]

Published by in category Business, Daily, Promo, Social Media | Comments are closed

Many marketers have to find out the hard way that more website traffic doesn’t always translate to more leads.

Unless your site is optimized to drive visitors to take action and engage, you can attract thousands of visitors and never see one of them convert into a lead. That’s where conversion rate optimization comes in.

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a systematic approach to increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers, or more generally, take any desired action on a webpage.

Marketers can drastically increase the returns on their marketing activities by examining every conversion point in their website experience and making CRO a part of their day-to-day work.

Unfortunately, many marketers are trying their luck at conversion rate optimization without a holistic and scientific approach, which can do more bad than good. That’s why we’ve invited Unbounce‘s Senior Conversion Optimizer, Michael Aagaard, to debunk common myths for our audience in a live hangout with HubSpot Academy.

Michael began his career in CRO in 2008 as a freelance consultant, learning and applying these tactics in a variety of industries and companies. He routinely speaks at digital marketing conferences on CRO, and has published numerous informative posts on the Unbounce blog.

In this HubSpot Academy Master Class, Michael will explain the most common misconceptions around conversion rate optimization, and how to adopt a CRO mindset that can dramatically improve the marketing results you achieve through optimization.

Whether you’ve been tinkering with CRO on your website for years or you’re not sure how to get started, this Master Class will include new insights and actionable takeaways you can use right away. Click here to save your spot! 

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How to Analyze The Performance of Your Display Ads [Free Guide]

Published by in category Advertising, Daily, Promo | Comments are closed


Contrary to what you might think, display ads and inbound marketing aren’t inherently incompatible. In fact, applying inbound marketing principals to your display ad strategy can help maximize your potential reach and attract more qualified leads.

The key to creating “inbound-y” display ad campaigns is proper planning and positioning. In this article, we’ll cover how to define performance metrics for your display ads, set measurable goals, and ultimately analyze success.

Analyzing Ad Performance and Setting Goals

The following is an excerpt from Display Ads & Inbound Marketing, a free guide we created with our friends at AdRoll. If you’d like to access the full guide, click here.

Before you dive into building your first ad campaigns, you’ll need to ensure you understand what constitutes success for each ad, which performance indicators to track, and how to measure your progress in real time. In this section, we’ll help you do just that.

Setting Campaign Goals

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make when setting up a campaign is using the same success metrics for every stage. This causes a number of problems:

  • Under-investment in acquiring new customers
  • Over-investment in campaigns for customers who buy again and again regardless of marketing efforts
  • Limited investment in mid-funnel nurturing

Here are the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll need to track in order to measure the success of your campaigns.

Also known as the awareness stage, where prospects are looking for answers, resources, and research.

New site visitors: The number of new visitors who came to your site after you launched a campaign. This KPI helps you understand how successful your campaigns are at increasing brand recognition and overall site traffic.

Engagement: Engagement, including time spent on your site, or number of pages viewed, is a good indicator of the quality of new traffic to your site. Be sure to compare engagement on a product-by-product basis, too. If your new visitors’ bounce rate is high or their site duration is low, you may need to adjust your strategy.

The middle of the funnel, also known as the consideration stage, is where prospects are evaluating whether your product or service is right for them. Marketers will want to start focusing on converting their customers into paying accounts in this stage.

Number of conversions: The total number of conversions driven by a campaign. Prospects at this stage are already aware of your brand and your content. Use retargeting to convince them to convert and adjust your campaigns based on how many of them actually do.

View-through conversions (VTCs): Conversions that resulted from customers who viewed ads but did not click. The truth is, no one likes clicking ads — but that doesn’t mean they don’t influence conversions.

Once prospects arrive on your site, take a look at how many of them convert after being served an ad — even if they never clicked one — to get a fair and accurate picture of the effectiveness of each ad

Attributed closed deals and new sales: The total number of deals closed from prospective customers who interacted with an advertising campaign. In addition to the total number of conversions, you should measure campaigns at the middle of the funnel by the number and quality of deals they’re closing — as well as the number of new sales and overall new customers that they drive.

Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): Your overall campaign spend divided by the total number of conversions. CPA is an important KPI to keep track of across the entire funnel, as a helpful proxy for how effective your teams are at closing, retaining, and cultivating customers.


Also known as the decision stage, this is the stage where prospects are deciding from whom they want to buy. As a marketer, you want to focus on closing deals that grow your customer base, while also up-selling or cross selling existing customers. KPIs at the bottom of the funnel help marketers evaluate the ultimate revenue consequences of their efforts.


Return on investment (ROI): The net profit generated by your campaign, calculated as the difference between the total revenue the campaign generated and the total cost of running the campaign.

Lifetime value (LTV): The net profit attributed to a customer over their lifetime. There are many ways to calculate LTV, but a model that is tailored to the specifics of your sales cycle will be most effective. LTV is important because it helps marketers calculate their ROI over time.

How to Calculate LTV


Example: $300 = ($100 x 0.5 purchases per month x 6 months) – Lifetime value is $300.

In this first equation, we’re shown how to calculate the lifetime value of a customer. Here we’re looking at the average margin per order, the repeat sales frequency, and the average retention time. Let’s break this down.

Average margin per order means the average amount of money a company brings in after processing and delivering a product. The next two metrics are meant to determine how often someone will purchase your products throughout the entire time they remain your customer. When combining these metrics, we were able to determine a LTV of $300.

How to Calculate ROI



LTV = $300 (calculated above)
CPA = $50 (what we pay to “buy” high-quality customers)
ROI = ($300-$50)


For this example, the situation is reversed. Here we already know the LTV, but are looking at understanding the return on investment of our advertising efforts. For this equation, we’ll look at the lifetime value minus the total cost to acquire a new customer (CPA).

Here we see that it cost $50 to acquire one single new customer and this customer had an LTV of $300 (taken from above). Once we subtract the CPA, we reveal an ROI that is 400% higher. Quite an improvement.

By gaining a deep understanding of the LTV of your average customer, and using that metric to determine how much to spend to get them to convert, you can get a more accurate sense of what your ROI is for your ad campaigns.

Why Do KPIs Matter? 

The Short Answer: Attribution

Attribution is critical because it allows marketers to evaluate what ads or marketing efforts are driving results and measure the impact of their advertising. Yearly trends continue to show that marketers (and their bosses) are placing more and more importance on marketing analytics and attribution.

AdRoll’s recent State of Performance Marketing Report found that almost 75% of marketers believe attribution is critical or very important to marketing success. Over 40% said that they spend the lion’s share of their yearly budgets on campaign measurement.

Despite this influx of interest, many marketers continue to exclusively track ad clicks to measure their campaigns. Tracking ad clicks alone completely misses a large portion of your audience — those who don’t click on ads, but may still be influenced to convert later.

Why Last Click Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

  • A small portion of people click on ads: Only 16% of users click on ads, and half of those — 8% — account for 85% of all clicks on display ads. This means that this pool of what the industry calls “natural born clickers” is the only audience you track.
  • Last-click tracking incentivizes finding users who would buy without advertising: Last-click attribution models are fundamentally incentivized to find users already likely to purchase—a practice referred to to as “funnel jumping.” Ideally, advertising should influence users to consider purchasing a product or service they wouldn’t otherwise have been exposed to.
  • Credit is not accurately assigned across publishers: last-click gives all the credit to the final click and ignores any other marketing that occurred before the purchase. This means any previous messaging users were exposed to, in addition to any content they consumed that discussed your brand, isn’t appropriately valued.

In fact, in the same survey almost 65% of respondents said that they currently employ a click-based attribution model. However, over 90% of them said that they plan to or are considering changing their attribution model in 2017 — signifying a large shift away from click-based attribution in the coming year.

The Alternative

Unlike click-based attribution models, blended attribution allows marketers to take into account both views and clicks when measuring the success of their campaigns. This metric retains the simplicity and immediacy of click-based attribution while accounting for the cumulative effect of views. More importantly, it takes into account what advertisers have always known: that viewing ads influences consumer behavior.

By combining views and clicks, we reveal a more nuanced, and ultimately more accurate, picture of how advertising affects users. This helps marketers allocate their budget and take into account all the effort that goes into both media planning and creative development.

Want to learn how to create your own ads? Click here to access the complete guide: Display Ads & Inbound Marketing

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How to Write the Perfect Marketing Email [Free Ebook]

From the subject line to the closing, there’s a science to writing the perfect email.

Include too many pictures, and your clickthrough rate may decrease. Write too much text, and your message may overwhelm your reader — especially considering 48% of emails are opened on a smartphone.

In our ebook, How to Write the Perfect Email, we’ll walk you through the 14 key steps to optimize your marketing emails for opens, clicks, subscribers, and more. We’ll cover how to:

  • Prioritize the goals of your emails
  • Nail the tone of your email to build trust with your audience
  • Time your sends to make sure your email is actually read
  • Segment your emails by lifecycle stage, content engagement, and more
  • Choose an impactful call-to-action

With each email send, marketers make countless decisions that influence whether your message gets opened, tossed, skimmed, or clicked. Don’t send your next blast without the latest optimization tips and industry data.

Check out our email optimization guide and learn how proper email optimization can boost your content downloads, convert more prospects, and increase your ROI.

write the perfect email




How to Create an Annual Marketing Plan [Free Tool]


Do you take a good, hard look at your team’s marketing strategy every year?

You should. An annual marketing plan helps you set your marketing on the right course to make your company’s business goals a reality. Think of it as a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team’s campaigns, goals, and growth.

Without one, things can get messy — and it’s nearly impossible to put a number on the budget you’ll need to secure for the projects, hiring, and outsourcing you’ll encounter over the course of a year if you don’t have a plan.

Of course, this type of planning takes a lot of time and effort. So if you’re strapped for time before the holidays, give our new Marketing Plan Generator a try. This tool simplifies yearly planning and lays your strategies, initiatives, and goals out in a template so you can identify what’s most important for the coming year.

Once you’ve filled in your information, you’ll come away with a plan that helps you:

  • Outline your annual marketing strategy
  • Identify your most important annual initiatives
  • Nix the projects that won’t help you hit your 2017 goals
  • Track the right metrics throughout the year
  • Align your team through a common mission

Pro Tip: The best way to set up your 2017 marketing plan is to start with quick wins first, that way you can ramp up fast and set yourself (and your team) up to hit more challenging goals and take on more sophisticated projects by Q4. So, what do you say? Are you ready to give it a spin?

You can find our Free Marketing Plan Generator right here.

Marketing Plan Generator




How to Increase Engagement Using Video Thumbnails in Your Emails [Live Event]


Are you looking for new ways to experiment with your email marketing and increase engagement and conversion?

With video in general becoming a more and more important content format for marketers, we put our heads together with the folks at Wistia to see how using video thumbnails in your email marketing affects engagement. Spoiler alert: It makes a huge difference, and we want to share the results with you.

Join HubSpot Marketing Manager Chelsea Hunersen and Wistia Partner Coordinator Margot Mazur on Wednesday December 14 at 1 p.m. EST for the big reveal of brand new data. They’ll show you how to successfully incorporate video thumbnails in your brand’s email and marketing strategies.

More specifically, you can expect:

  • Never before seen data on video thumbnails in email
  • Wistia & HubSpot’s own experiment results
  • Tips on how to include video thumbnails in your email and marketing strategy
  • Bonus: Answers to questions submitted by actual audience members!

Save your seat now, and don’t forget to submit your questions.

email engagement using video




How to Run a Competitor Analysis [Free Guide]

Competitor Analysis.jpg

When was the last time you performed a competitor analysis for your brand?

Too often, a competitor analysis is reserved for the early days of a company or the launch of a new product. For others, analyzing the competition doesn’t go further than scrolling through their social media accounts every morning.

Whether it’s lack of time or understanding, many marketers are not taking full advantage of a proper competitor audit. Yet, knowing how your competitors are positioning their product and brand story is a key way to ensure your content remains compelling to your persona.

In our new ebook, How to Run a Competitor Analysis, we’ll show you how to compare your competitor’s weaknesses against your own strengths and vice versa. You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify your direct and indirect competitors
  • Analyze your competitor’s content strategy for quality and reach
  • Grade your competitor’s SEO strategy and increase your own authority
  • Equip your salespeople to compete during the decision stage of the buyer’s journey

Then, we’ll show you how to organize all of your research in a single document to align your entire team.

Fair warning, this is not the ultimate guide to replicating your competitor’s every move. But with our competitor analysis guide, you’ll discover how to run an efficient, on-going analysis that sets your brand apart.

download how to run a competitor analysis




How to Run a Competitor Analysis [Free Guide]

Competitor Analysis.jpg

When was the last time you performed a competitor analysis for your brand?

Too often, a competitor analysis is reserved for the early days of a company or the launch of a new product. For others, analyzing the competition doesn’t go further than scrolling through their social media accounts every morning.

Whether it’s lack of time or understanding, many marketers are not taking full advantage of a proper competitor audit. Yet, knowing how your competitors are positioning their product and brand story is a key way to ensure your content remains compelling to your persona.

In our new ebook, How to Run a Competitor Analysis, we’ll show you how to compare your competitor’s weaknesses against your own strengths and vice versa. You’ll learn how to:

  • Identify your direct and indirect competitors
  • Analyze your competitor’s content strategy for quality and reach
  • Grade your competitor’s SEO strategy and increase your own authority
  • Equip your salespeople to compete during the decision stage of the buyer’s journey

Then, we’ll show you how to organize all of your research in a single document to align your entire team.

Fair warning, this is not the ultimate guide to replicating your competitor’s every move. But with our competitor analysis guide, you’ll discover how to run an efficient, on-going analysis that sets your brand apart.

download how to run a competitor analysis




26 Clever Ideas for Marketing Over the Holidays [Free Guide]

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No matter what sector you’re in, the holiday season is a time when marketers can drive new sales, attract new customers, and create valuable promotional deals. 

With all of that opportunity comes the need for extra marketing efforts around the holidays. But it’s not enough just to execute deals like every other brand out there — holiday sales also bring holiday noise, so it’s essential that your marketing efforts to stand out from the crowd. 

Small Business Saturday, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and general online holiday shopping are predicted to increase up to 19% from last year — now is the time to think about amping up your marketing efforts to generate more revenue. 

Luckily, HubSpot and Square put their heads together to come up with 26 solid ideas for holiday marketing. With these free tips, you’ll be on your way to doubling your holiday revenue year-over-year in no time. Tips from the ebook include: 

  • 26 unique tactics for holiday campaigns.
  • Moving the needle for sales during the holidays and ensuring ROI on your campaigns.
  • Analyzing, optimizing, and tweaking content you already have to make a bigger impact over the holiday season.
  • Examples and resources for great holiday offers.
  • Utilizing your audience and customers to generate more business near the end of the year.
  • Much more about smart marketing over the holidays, and beyond.

Want to learn more? Download your copy of Holiday Marketing Campaign Ideas A-Z today.

free ebook: holiday marketing campaign ideas




How to Run Successful LinkedIn Ads [Free Two-Week Planner]

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LinkedIn is the #1 social media platform for B2B content distribution. That makes it a key platform to generate leads, build professional relationships, and drive leads.

But it’s not enough to use LinkedIn just to build an organic following. If you want to effectively expand your content’s reach and get it in front of the right eyes, you should be using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content feature.

Even if you’ve used Sponsored Content before, you may not have mastered all of the steps it takes to make sure you’re getting the most ROI from your campaigns. Luckily, HubSpot teamed up with LinkedIn to bring you How to Run Successful LinkedIn Ads — a two-week guide on running successful LinkedIn Sponsored Content campaigns.

More specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build an organic audience on LinkedIn.
  • Select the right pieces of content.
  • Identify the best target audience.
  • Build an effective editorial calendar.
  • Implement conversion tracking to prove ROI.
  • Develop an effective targeting and A/B testing strategy.
  • Monitor, report on, and optimize your sponsored content campaigns over time.

Download your copy of How to Run Successful LinkedIn Ads here.

free planner: how to run successful LinkedIn ads




How to Excel in Community Management: Advice from 12 Experts

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Community management has become an essential part of a successful long-term social media marketing strategy. In fact, it’s turned into more than just a social media strategy: Community management leads to customer retention, and studies have shown that profits increase 95% when retention grows over 5%.

In order to get to the point where community management turns into business growth, you need to first put in the effort to develop deep personal relationships with customers and people in your community that may or may not be interested in buying your services. They’re part of your community simply because their beliefs are similar to those of your brand and industry leadership. 

Vanilla Forums, along with 12 leading community management experts, has written about building a foundation for a great community, as well as the strategic steps along the way, to help grow that community and ultimately your business.

In this ebook, written by 12 leading community management experts, you’ll learn:

  • The best tactics in community management to build up to your first 100 members.
  • The key metrics executive teams use to measure community success and how you can start incorporating those metrics from the start.
  • How to find a great moderator.
  • Much more about building and fostering a healthy community to fuel your business’ growth.

Click here to check out How to Learn Community Management from the Experts.

free ebook: how to excel in community management




The Ultimate List of 250+ Marketing Statistics [New Data]

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We’ve all been there … the wild goose chase of finding the perfect statistic.

You’re writing a blog post on the importance of using video in your social media strategy, for instance. As you crank through your outline, suddenly you pause. If only I had a stat to insert here.

First you come across a research report, but it requires a hefty membership fee. For your next data point, you follow the trail of links from one article to the next, only to find that the original source is 404-ed. When you finally think you’ve found the perfect social video statistic, you realize it was published during the days “poking” someone on Facebook was still socially acceptable. 

Let’s stop chasing after stats. For your researching ease, we’ve gathered all the top marketing and sales data in one place. So when you need a stat on the rise of video, we’ve got you covered. In fact, did you know 43% of consumers want to see more video content from marketers in the future? 

In our Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics, you’ll find over 250 data points on search engine optimization, content marketing, email optimization, sales and marketing alignment, and more. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Content consumption on Facebook has increased 57% in the past two years.
  • 65% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge.
  • 82% of marketers with a service-level agreement think their marketing strategy is effective.

Bookmark our Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics today to spend less time scouring the internet for numbers and more time creating great content.

get the free 2016 state of inbound report




The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile [Free Kit]

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As marketers, we know that the term “mobile optimization” can sometimes seem like just another hot button term these days. And the actual process of optimizing your brand’s site can be somewhat intimidating.

In hopes of making the whole process a little less daunting, we teamed up with Localytics to bring you The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile.

This five-part kit will walk you through the best practices of mobile marketing, help you decide whether or not your brand should have an app, and bring you up to speed on how mobile has evolved over the past couple years.

More specifically, you’ll learn:

  • The state of mobile marketing today and the importance of getting your marketing completely mobile optimized.
  • How to optimize your website and the most important factors to keep in mind when working with your web team or freelancers.
  • Best practices for mobile marketing and ensuring your efforts are passing the test.
  • How to tap into the app ecosystem and why that matters for your business.
  • What’s next in mobile: How to keep on top of mobile trends so your business continues to rank on search engines and bring in leads and customers.
  • *Bonus* Flowchart: Should you build an app or not?

Download your copy of The Marketer’s Guide to Mobile now.

free guide: guide to mobile marketing




6 Key Takeaways From an Analysis of 200+ Popular Pinterest Infographics


The following is an excerpt from our free resource, How to Create Beautiful Infographics. If you’d like to download the full guide, click here.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re creating an infographic to use on social media or a marketing campaign. If you’re creating the infographic for marketing purposes, you’ve got one more step, and that’s promoting it.

After all, there is no point creating content if no one sees it, is there?

Here are some methods on how to promote your infographics:

  • Make it into a blog post and share on all your social channels.
  • Send out an email newsletter. (Check out how to make emails more engaging with infographics here.)
  • Ask your advocates to share explicitly.
  • Post it on social discovery sites like Stumbled Upon, Reddit, Imgur..etc.
  • Outreach – find bloggers who will benefit from sharing your infographic.

If you’re not a big brand with a large following, you’ll get limited mileage on most of these methods without determined effort on outreach. Outreach is an unavoidable necessity. It’s like cold calling and door to door selling. It works, but usually not how you would expect it to. You have to start at the bottom of the influencer pyramid and work your way up.

With so much content on Pinterest, how do you make your infographic stand out? What are the characteristics of highly-pinned and liked Pinterest infographics?

To answer these questions, Venngage looked at over 200 popular Pinterest infographics and evaluated them based on a series of qualitative and quantitative characteristics. The results? A comprehensive guide to what types of infographics get more “likes” than others. Based on their research, six factors were identified for a great Pinterest infographic.

1) Topic

Does the topic or subject matter of your infographic matter? Yes, it does. On Pinterest, the top topics were travel, food and marketing. This is not really surprising if you use Pinterest regularly. Travel and food images do extremely well on Pinterest given the demographic of their users. These three topics performed a lot better than all the other topics.


2) Mood: Funny, Challenging, or Useful 

One of the most important aspects of any content is the reaction is garners from its audience. Did the content leave an impact on the person, whether it was a good laugh or something useful they could use in life? Venngage looked at our sample of Pinterest infographics and coded each one with what they thought would be the reaction the infographic produced.

The results are consistent with a lot of other literature and research on content. The winners are infographics that are funny, challenging or practical. These infographics have the highest pins.


3) Simplicity of Information

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that you need to have a lot of data and a complex infographic for it to be shared and liked a lot. Venngage’s research shows that simple infographics, such as informational and text based infographics, perform the best. Simple = Win.


The other characteristic examined was the dominant style of the infographic. Venngage classified IG style into one of five styles — text based, image based, illustration based, or a combination. The results showed text based infographics performed the best.


4) Serif Fonts

While the majority of infographic fonts were sans serif types (the more modern looking font), serif fonts perform better. Why?

Here is one plausible reason: people believe text written in serif fonts more than those written in sans serif. There was a popular study highlighted by the New York Times about how people tend to find statements written in serif fonts more credible.


5) 2-3 Colors

Colors have an effect on people. Marketers know this and have been using it to increase sales and conversions for a long time. It turns out when we looked at the number of colors used in top infographics and which primary colors are dominant, we see a very distinct pattern.


Less is more. Infographics with only two colors performed the most. Infographics that have more than five were the worst. [Click to Tweet]


6) Longform vs. Shortform

If you group the infographics based on their length to width ratio — a ratio is used since infographics have varying dimensions — and chart the distribution, you’ll notice that while shorter infographics do well, the ones that performed really well had between 5-9 length to width ratio (the infographics’ length were 5-9 times longer that its width).

I guess that is consistent with other longform content such as blog articles. But too long is not necessarily a good thing — as you go beyond the 9X ratio, the performance drops. So don’t over do it.

Want to learn more? Download How to Create Beautiful Infographics here.

how to create beautiful infographics




The Smart Marketers Guide to Growth Hacking [Free Download]


Back when Sean Ellis first coined the term “growth hacking” in 2010, many marketers were skeptical about whether or not it was just a passing fad. A few years down the line, growth hacking tools, tactics, and strategies have proven hugely successful for both big name brands and unknown startups.

But what exactly is growth hacking, and how is it different from regular marketing?

In short, growth hacking combines technology, creativity, analytics, and innovative marketing strategies all with one singular goal in mind: growth.

To help you navigate the constantly changing word of growth hacking, HubSpot and Brandwatch teamed up to create The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Growth Hacking. This playbook for growth will help you identify what the right growth strategy is for your business, and how to execute on it.

More specifically, this guide will cover:

  • Using the PIE framework to prioritise and conduct tests
  • Five core metrics to tangibly measure growth against
  • How to build an experimental funnel to test your hypotheses
  • Tactics and tools used by GrubHub, Airbnb, HubSpot, and more to drive accelerated results in a short period of time
  • Hacks to grow your database, boost your brand awareness, and launch new products.

Access your copy of The Smart Marketer’s Guide to Growth Hacking today.





How to Get More Twitter Followers: 10 Expert Tips [Free Kit]


Unless you’re a celebrity or a household name brand, it’s really difficult to build a substantial following on Twitter. Maybe you’ve made it to a couple thousand followers but can’t seem to bump it up any more. 

Frustrating, isn’t it?

The good news is that HubSpot put together a helpful kit — How to Get More Twitter Followers — filled with everything you need to know about increasing your brand’s following and generating business from your Twitter account.

In the kit, we’ll share a couple big levers you can pull to gain quality followers for your brand’s Twitter account (not the ones you pay for). You’ll also find tips on the best practices around when and what to tweet, as well as a bonus Consumer Insights Report from the experts from Twitter. 

More specifically you’ll learn:

  • How to optimize tweet copy for maximum return.
  • How to use captivating visual content to engage followers.
  • Best practices and inside tips for promoting your handle.
  • How to run Twitter campaigns to increase your audience and prove ROI.
  • When to use Ad Campaigns to move the needle on followers and leads.
  • How followers become loyal customers and brand advocates.

Download your copy of How to Get More Twitter Followers here.

free kit for growing followers on Twitter




The Marketer’s Guide to Facebook Live [Free Guide]


At a conference in June, a Facebook VP said that in five years time the platform would be “all video.” That’s a bold statement, but it’s not unbelievable if you’ve scrolled through your News Feed lately.

And one of the biggest drivers behind the growing prevalence of video is Facebook Live, which only was introduced in April of this year, but has since become a major distribution channel for both publishers and brands. Mashable has promised to stream 35 hours of live video per month, and The New York Times is streaming four live broadcasts every day, according to Advertising Age. These in-the-moment, authentic videos are capturing the attention of Facebook users, and it’s time to take advantage of the feature for your own brand. 

Going live on Facebook isn’t complicated — the platform has made it so anyone can stream with their mobile device and access to the internet. But there are a few best practices for live streaming, promoting your event, and driving engagement that will ensure your broadcast impresses your audience and drives new fans to your brand. 

Learn how to start broadcasting with our new online guide — The Guide to Facebook Live. In this guide, you’ll get:

  • Tips on setting up your next live stream
  • Inspiration on the types of content to broadcast
  • Strategies for driving viewers to your Live event

Click here to download your copy of The Guide to Facebook Live today.

Facebook Live Guide




How to Master a Successful Marketing Campaign in Trello [Free Guide]


Efficiency, collaboration, communication, and meeting deadlines — these all seem pretty relevant to your team’s success, right? Especially when running big marketing campaigns with a lot of moving pieces.

Whether you’re the solo marketer at your company or part of a 25-person team, staying organized and accountable is super important to executing marketing campaigns. That’s where Trello comes in.

Trello is a free, easy-to-use organization and project management tool that just so happens to be an awesome tool for marketers. It can help you keep your company’s largest and most involved marketing campaigns organized. (If you’re not sold, it might be convincing to hear that 16 million other users are already taking advantage of it.)

HubSpot went ahead and teamed up with Trello to bring you a free, step-by-step guide on How to Master a Successful Marketing Campaign in Trello to streamline your efficiency and collaboration beyond belief. Say goodbye to multiple shared Google Docs and never-ending email chains once and for all.

More specifically we’ll touch on:

  • Establishing a productive workflow for getting from start to finish that keeps your whole team involved and on track.
  • Developing key channels of communication within your team and across the organization.
  • Gaining perspective on success with visual retrospectives, accessible resources and a winning framework that can be recreated for your next campaign.
  • Achieving focus on the ultimate goal: more leads, sales, and buzz for your business.

Download your copy of How to Master a Successful Marketing Campaign in Trello.

free guide: how to manage a marketing campaign in Trello




15 Time-Saving Email Templates for Marketing & Sales [Free Guide]


We waste a lot of time reading and responding to emails at work. So much so that many people have become obsessed with optimizing their time spent “dealing” with email — whether that’s putting limits on the number of times they check their inbox during the day, using a productivity method such as inbox zero, or investing in tools to manage the mess of incoming communications. 

One effective way to reduce the amount of time spent writing and perfecting emails while also improving the chance of your message being opened, read, and responded to is to create a library of email templates you’ve found to be effective.

And you’re in luck because we’ve got a guide to get you started building out this repository. 

In our new ebook — 15 Email Templates for Marketing & Sales — you’ll find sample copy for commonly sent emails you can customize for your own communications. Included in the guide are templates for: 

  • Pitching a co-marketing campaign to an influencer
  • Requesting a customer reference
  • Reaching out to speaker
  • Pitching a guest post to an editor
  • Following up after an in-person meeting 
  • And more!

Cut down on the time you spend writing emails and improve your response rate by downloading the templates here.  

free email copy templates