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Nuggets of Knowledge: April 2014

By April 9, 2014Nuggets of Knowledge
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Mack Web's Nuggets of Knowledge

Yes, fortunate audience, we bestow upon you, once again, our borrowed wisdom and our native sass.

You’re welcome.

This month’s #NOKlist (because ‘Nuggets of Knowledge’ is just a little too bulky for everyday; we’ve banished it to Sundays and minor national holidays) covers a range of topics from productivity hacks to social analytics to graham crackers (and more).

For those not in the know, Nuggets of Knowledge is the monthly event in which we, the brilliant Mack Web team, share the articles that have most influenced our thinking in the last month. It’s a win-win-win: the authors get a little well-deserved recognition, you get some info you may not have had and some insight into us, and we get to be the unashamed fangirls that we are. Good stuff.

If you’ve missed any of the previous installments, we feel pretty bad for you. Which is why we’ve got a Nuggets of Knowledge archive. You should check it out.

You should also tell us what you’ve been reading. We just know that great minds like yours have things to share. Let out your inner fangirl, too.

But without further ado: April’s #NOKlist. Happy reading.


Ann’s Pick

70% of Time Could Be Used Better – How the Best CEOs Get the Most Out of Every Day

by Bill Trenchard

Ann

Ann

Being a CEO is tough stuff. If I’ve learned anything over the past three months as Mack’s assistant it’s that Mack Web is what it is because of the ridiculously hard work and dedication of Mack and her minions, er, employees. The hacks in this article are applicable whether you’re the CEO or the assistant to the CEO.

The outcome of putting them into practice is an efficient work day as well as peace of mind. For example, I’m a big fan of being an email ninja. A friend recently introduced me to Active Inbox, and I can’t imagine getting to inbox zero without it. I can sleep well at night, knowing that I’m organized and prepared for tomorrow.

Whether it’s helping Mack keep her boundaries in place or going to yoga, it’s crucial for every person on our team to put the 8 ideas on this list into practice. In the end, we have the security of knowing we’re getting everything done while maximizing our time for the really important things, like quanlitative quests. Or, y’know, hunting down our favorite color gummy bear.

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Ayelet’s Pick

The Definitive Guide To Campaign Tagging in Google Analytics

by Annie Cushing

Ayelet

Ayelet

For one of these Nuggets of Knowledge posts, I’ll choose a non-analytics post. While you wait patiently for that day, check out this thorough guide to campaign tagging.

Campaign tagging helps you track how effective your marketing efforts (especially on social media) have been. It helps to have used campaign tagging before, but Annie gives a great intro into what campaign tagging is. She even gives info on what to do if you’ve been doing campaign tagging wrong (which is not hard to do). Even though I’ve been doing campaign tagging for many months, I learned a lot from this post and will be making changes to how we tag campaigns for ourselves and our clients based off this post.

This is a post that I will be coming back to again and again. There’s just so much knowledge and useful how-to’s packed into it. Don’t get turned away by the length and depth of it. You could easily make this an online course in campaign tagging.

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Courtney’s Pick

10 Charts That Are Changing the Way We Measure Content

by Sam Petulla, Contently

Courtney

Courtney

These days my life is all about content. Well, and llamas. Llamas and gummy bears. And Captain Hook (don’t judge me). Llamas and gummy bears and Captain Hook. But, mostly, content. I write content, I edit content, I brainstorm content with my team, I review content, I glare in frustration at content. This is how I spend my days.

In Mack Web’s recent sally forth into the world of quanlitative measurement, my major mission will be figuring out a concise, accurate way to convey the value of the content we produce. Which means that when it comes to this measurement debate, I’m like a cat watching a ping-pong game: intensely focused, desperate to pounce on something I don’t quite understand, and in serious danger of neck strain.

This article was a good find in that it visually summed up some great science-y stuff I couldn’t have figured out on my own (did you know that sharing content is a different neurological process than reading it?), interesting facts about reader response (surprise and anticipation garner more attention than trust), and a confirmation of a general conclusion (time spent on the content is more revealing than pageviews or clicks or shares…mostly).

I’m all about doing the ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ thing, so I have no compunctions about shamelessly stealing and referencing these factoids. With the links in the article, I can check out the original research (which eases my suspicious mind) and all the pretty and thought provoking charts not only provide information, they prove that they author knows whereof he speaks. They’re good charts but some of them take deliberation to decipher, meaning that this particular article will have a drastically higher read time. Well played, Sam Petulla, well played.

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Mack’s Pick

Honey Maid is Okay with People Hating Its Ad Showing “Wholesome” Gay Parents

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

Mack

Mack

Many companies are afraid of consumers saying negative things about their brand on social media. When you have a community–especially when you’re a large brand–unfavorable behavior is bound to happen. It’s your job as the brand to maintain composure, dignity, and exhibit integrity when you’re addressing ugly situations. This is exactly how Honey Maid handled the discriminating voices in response to their “This is Wholesome” ad campaign.

You cannot control the behavior of the people in your community or what they say about you on social media, but you can stand up for the core values and culture of your company (and the people in your community who also share those same beliefs). Even when people are being hateful, you can respectfully make it clear that discrimination will not be tolerated.

Watch this beautiful and moving video; it is a shining example of how to address prejudice and negativity about your brand and turn it into something that exhibits the true and honorable character of your company.

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Nat’s Pick

Can this Crazy Design Hack Help Make Your Landing Page Convert?

by Tommy Walker, Unbounce

Nat

Nat

As Mack Web’s designer, I know how difficult it can be to design landing pages that speak to a specific audience. It’s a challenge to remove all of my design preferences and create specifically for the intended audience at hand, which is why the design hack Tommy Walker covers on the Unbounce blog is so, well, wonderful. It’s a smart and easy way to collect data about the stylistic preferences of your target audience, which in turn, helps you to create a design that appeals to them (beauty is subjective, after all).

Walker started with the idea that the type of media and entertainment we consume can provide insight into our online design preferences as consumers. This means you need to find out some key things about the types of media your target audience consumes: What music and movies do they like? What stories do they like to read? What TV shows do they like to watch?

Why is this research important? Because the answers will provide you with the visual language your target audience prefers (and relates to). Don’t get discouraged. I know this sounds like a task that requires tons of surveying and research, but you’re gonna skip all that work because this is where that amazing design hack comes in. Enter Facebook’s Graph Search.

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Rebecca’s Pick

Walk Cycle Demonstration (Stop Motion Animation)

by Adam Pierce, Charged Studios

Rebecca

Rebecca

Anyone with an artistic bent who has dared to pour herself into the time-intensive and heart-wrenching process of creating understands: it’s totally worth it.

Yet those experiencing the creation after the fact cannot fully understand what went into giving birth to that painting, landing page, or short story. And that’s why Adam Pierce’s “Walk Cycle Demonstration” video is worth the watch.

By breaking down what it takes to believably walk a doll from one end of the table to the other, Adam offers us a glimpse into this four-hour, stop motion animation process (but sped up to a mere two minutes).

This short video not only provides a quick education in the actual filmmaking process, but it’s also a reminder of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into making some of our favorite stop motion animated films.

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Nuggets of Knowledge April 2014

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