Why GM’s Investment in Lyft is the Ultimate Lesson on Self Cannibalization Done Right

The greatest businesses and brands are the ones most willing to let go “what was” and “what is” so as to embrace “what will be.” And the reason for this is simple: We don’t like to fix what’s not broken…until it’s actually broken. But occasionally, when you have visionary leaders of organizations, brands are willing…
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How to Consistently Create Remarkable Content

It’s no secret that creativity and innovation are two key ingredients in a highly effective content marketing strategy.
And yet, consistently coming up with new, imaginative content ideas for your business or brand can seem utterly vexing at times.
We all want to have better ideas, but it isn’t always as simple as just putting on our “better idea” caps.
That’s why successful content marketers often have methods that help them produce remarkable content on a regular basis.
Let’s look at one such method.
A little innovation can go a long way
In the book The Art of Innovation, author Tom Kelley describes the creative process of the global design and innovation firm IDEO (taken from the word ideology).
Over the years, he’s watched the company grow from a small group of fun-loving designers into a firm of more than 600 professionals.
David Kelley, his brother and IDEO founder, helped Steve Jobs develop the Lisa computer and worked on Apple’s famous mouse design.
IDEO is ranked number 10 on Fast Company’s list of the Top 25 Most Innovative Companies and is the winner of 38 Red Dot awards, 28 iF Hannover awards, and more IDEA awards than any other design firm.
Reinventing the wheel … every day
IDEO has redesigned everything from children’s toys to high-tech medical equipment.
In a vintage spot on ABC’s Nightline in 1999 called “The Deep Dive: One Company’s Secret Weapon for Innovation,” IDEO became well-known when a team at the company applied a modern redesign to the classic

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The Big Pill that Sales Professionals Must Swallow in the Digital Age

If we look back at the history of the world, one can see countless examples of how the leaders of a previous generation are always the slowest to adapt to the next one. That’s just the way it goes. And when it comes to veteran sales professionals, this could not be any more true. Fact…
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Should You Write for Fans or Customers?

Mickey Spillane did not suffer from delusions of grandeur.
He didn’t expect his novels — featuring private eye Mike Hammer — to be regarded as great works of literature.
What he wanted was for them to sell.
I have no fans. You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends. – Mickey Spillane
His books have sold more than 225 million copies, so this approach served him well.
As we build an online presence with our content marketing, we have to answer this essential question:
Should we develop fans or customers?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.
Why develop fans?
Your content marketing may have fans — people who love everything you write, contribute ideas in your comment section on a regular basis, and support your business by participating in any free offer you make.
Not all fans become customers, but some fans may become second customers.
Second customers are people who help you spread the word about your business. They faithfully share all the content you create.
They may not give you money, but they give you something equally valuable: referrals that bring you more customers over time.
Fans are important, and fans who become second customers are critical for your business.
Second customers help your business expand across the web. They do some of your promotional heavy lifting for you, so spend time cultivating them.
How to cultivate second customers
The most valuable second customers have large audiences — every share from them causes your traffic to spike.
To give your second customers the

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Where can I find my HubSpot HUB ID and why is it important

At some point while using HubSpot you’ll probably run into a technical problem that requires HubSpot support to take a look at. In order for HubSpot’s techs to help you out, you’re going to need to provide them with your HUB ID, which is your unique identifier for your pages and analytics that are hosted in …
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What Is a Content Library? Plus Answers to 9 More Questions about This Innovative Lead Gen Approach

In May 2013, a small company with fewer than 40 unusual employees made a historic lead generation move that resulted in stunning lead generation results. (I stress “unusual” in a good way.)
The company with those odd employees, of course, was Copyblogger Media (now known as Rainmaker Digital). The story of what happened follows.
The historic move:
Up until that point, Copyblogger had been offering an email newsletter to attract and capture email subscribers. Pretty standard in the online business world.
We wanted to up the ante.
So we launched My.Copyblogger.com — a free membership site, where people sign up to access (at the time) 15 free ebooks and a 20-part email course.
Think of a content library as a password-protected source of premium content that you can access once you register with your email address.
That’s essentially what a “content library” looks like. But how did it perform? Let’s look at the results to see.
The historic results:
According to the case study by Marketing Sherpa,

Through the first seven weeks, the free subscription page averaged a 67 percent conversion rate.
The first week’s growth was 300 percent bigger than the best week of growth for Internet Marketing for Smart People (a previous Copyblogger 20-part email course) — closer to 400 percent, if you include new paid subscribers.
The most visited page on Copyblogger at the time was behind the paywall — with almost a third of all traffic logging in after arrival.

Those are some substantial results, particularly in such a competitive space as content

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Thoughts on the Frustrating Gap Between Movement and Action

“Never confuse movement with action.” ― Ernest Hemingway My goodness this quote has been after me lately. You see, as I look back at 2015, I notice a lot of movement. But not nearly enough action. Here is the funny thing about action though—it’s a personal thing. People might look at my schedule as a speaker,…
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Excellent Analytics Tip #27: Chase Smart Calculated Metrics!

For the last decade (#omg!), I’ve consistently complained about a fundamental flaw in Web Analytics tools: They incentivize one night stands, rather than engagements matching customer-intent.
This leads to owners of digital experiences (insanely) expecting all visitors to their websites to convert right away – anything less than that is a failure. Damn the intent the customer is expressing.
It also results in Marketers obsess about awful things like last-click conversions (die last-click attribution die!). They make silly user experience decisions (Searching for car insurance options? We will remove every single thing from the page except a GET QUOTE button. Ha! Sucks to be you Visitor!). They never consider Think or Care intent, all they obsess about is Do intent (See-Think-Do-Care business framework). Not even all of the Do, just the strongest of commercial intent. The very bottom of the Do! It really is quite crazy.
You’ll agree all of this sounds quite insane. Not just insane, so visibly insane that everyone should see through it and fix their minds/reports/strategies. So, why are we still so obviously wrong and still on the insane path?
Simple. It is just how all of the Digital Analytics tools are configured at their very core.
Every standard report in every standard tool is configured off Visits (or in Google Analytics language, Sessions), rather than Visitors (GA language, Users). The specific metric I’ve been mad about since day one of this blog (May 14th, 2006!) is Conversion Rate. It is measured as Orders/Visits. [Or, its variation Outcomes/Sessions]
Built into that is the mental model that if you visit a website, then every Visit has to result in money for the site owner. Else, it is a failed visit. Scroll

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Jump-start Your 2016 with the Best of Copyblogger 2015

Did you see that year that just flew by?
It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that Sonia Simone welcomed 2015 with My Challenge to You for 2015: Only Connect.
In that post, Sonia talks about how business success is about getting the “Big Thing” right.
What’s your Big Thing?
You’ll recognize it as the overarching reason behind your business. It’s your motive for wanting to connect with people online. It’s what gets you out of bed every morning.
When you’re clear about your Big Thing, the details tend to fall into place.
Get clear on your Big Thing, then dive into the details below
This past year, Copyblogger took a deep dive into the details of effective content marketing.
Choosing the “best” posts from this embarrassment of riches is impossible. I mean, really? How does one choose?
It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. So, I loaded up on coffee and took a nice, long stroll through all the content we put together for you in 2015.
Thank you to our team and our readers
Before I share my list, I want to take a moment to thank Demian Farnworth and Stefanie Flaxman for their work on the editorial team this year.
Demian’s can-do attitude and epic content marketing skills made for some exceptional posts this year.
And Stefanie’s eagle-eyed editing instincts have polished every post below into its best possible form.
To all the guest writers whose work we published this year, thanks to you, too. You accepted our suggestions

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