In the Headlights: December 4, 2019 Issue

In The Headlights

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll

Around this time of year, everyone’s talking about their plans for the next year, and in this case, the next decade. Apart from the usual resolutions, one of the major topics that always comes up is professional development and training. Working professionals always cite a lack of time or resources for professional development, and companies consistently list professional development and training as a high priority. In the most recent CMO Survey, CMOs indicated that 5.8% of marketing budget was spent on training and development, the highest in 5 years.

Yet our marketing isn’t getting better. With budget, with unlimited free resources, with free tools and software, why are we not absolutely crushing our professional development and training goals?

When you ask marketers about training and development, often they’ll say they want to attend some conferences, take some courses, etc. but rarely do they say what their intended outcome is. This is the difference between someone who’s doing some professional development, and someone who’s on a professional journey.

A journey indicates a destination. You’re going somewhere. You’ve got an end state, an outcome, a future vision of who you want to be with crystal clarity, and every minute, every dollar you have allocated towards professional development goes towards the pursuit of that goal, reaching that destination.

Contrast that with someone who takes a bunch of classes, maybe attends a conference, but doesn’t have that motivation, that burning fire to be someone different at the end of their pursuit. They’ll consume professional development resources, but they won’t grow as a professional.

So, the question for you is, what’s your professional journey? Where are you going? Who will you be when you get there? Before you sign up for a single class, course, or conference in 2020, be absolutely clear in your own mind about your journey and your destination.

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This week’s Bright Idea is a PDF from the US Federal Trade Commission. It’s a brochure which explains in great detail what is expected of influencers to disclose. Some things worth noting:

  • Financial value means anything of value at all – so that free shirt, free software subscription, discount, etc. are all things that must be disclosed. If it’s given, you have to declare it if you create content about it.
  • Disclosures must be atomic, meaning they are embedded in the media. That means that if you put up a photo with sponsored/gifted items, you must disclose within the photo itself, not just in the caption with the photo.
  • Disclosures must be truthful. The FTC specifically calls out testimonials for products you haven’t tried.

Download the PDF directly from the FTC here:

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In the rear view this week, we examine the top-linked content of November 2019. Using AHREFs data, what do the top 62,000+ English-language articles, posts, and publications have in common? We looked at any content published in November 2019 (excluding republished content) with 50 or more referring domains (inbound links from 50+ unique domains) to see top-line statistics:

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  • In terms of raw content, the average piece of content had 567 words, shown in green bars above.
  • The median number of referring domains was 80, shown in orange bars above.
  • The median number of readers for any given piece of content was 78, show in teal bars above.
  • The median domain authority was 90, shown in dark blue bars above.
  • The median number of social shares across Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest was 257, shown in red bars above.
  • In terms of days of the week, articles published on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays had 81 referring domains. Tuesdays and Wednesdays earned 80, Thursdays and Fridays earned 79.
  • Tuesdays were the highest traffic days, with a median of 96 readers per article. The lowest readership day was Wednesdays.

What are the key takeaways? At least in terms of getting actual humans to read our content, Tuesdays seemed to perform the best in November. We’ll have a year-long look coming up in a future issue to see if that trend holds over time. What’s more important is that sharing vastly exceeds actual reading; people are 3 times as likely to share a piece of content as they are to read it. When it comes to allocating time and thought on optimizing content, give extra focus to the headline and article summary/preview snippet.

Methodology: Trust Insights used AHREFS Content Explorer to query the top 25 most frequent words in the English language published in articles in November 2019. The results were filtered down to articles with more than 50 referring domains for a total sample of 62,627 articles. Articles published prior to November 2019 were excluded, including republished articles which had a revised date in November 2019. The date of the study is November 1-30, 2019; the date of extraction is December 3, 2019.

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Shiny Objects is a roundup of the best content you and others have written and shared in the last week.

Social Media Marketing

Media and Content

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Business and Leadership

Join the Club

Are you a member of our free, private Slack group, Analytics for Marketers? Join 500 like-minded marketers who care about data and measuring their success. Membership is free – join today.

Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • Agorapulse Social Summit, December 2020, Online – closes December 13!
  • MarketingProfs Virtual Summit, December 2020, Online
  • Social Media Marketing World, March 2020, San Diego, CA
  • HELLO Conference, April 2020, New Jersey
  • Women in Analytics, June 2020, Columbus, OH
  • MAICON 2020, July 2020, Cleveland, OH

Going to a conference we should know about? Reach out!

FTC Disclosure: Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them.

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