Every month, we’re bringing you the BEST inbound marketing reads so you don’t have to waste time wading through what’s important. So here’s a primer in what’s going on in the marketing industry. From content marketing, buyer personas, social media and creativity, take a few ideas, and try them on for size!

  1. Structure Your Marketing Team for Growthposition-for-growthChange is hard. But you can’t ignore it, especially if your business needs to restructure itself to ensure continuous growth. HubSpot learned that change was necessary early on, and restructured the company at least once a year to ensure it was on track. Learn from their experience  and make sure that your decision-making and resource-allocating processes are on-point.
  2. How to Get Your Boss to Invest More Money in Content Marketing This Year It’s an ongoing battle you feel like you won’t  –  and can’t  –  win. Convincing your boss of the value of content marketing is one thing. Getting him or her to spend money on it is a whole other ball game. If you need help getting your boss on board, QuickSprout has a complete guide to help you get the dollars you need to effectively promote your business.
  3. Stop Wasting Money on a Website Redesign and Talk to Your Buyer Personawebsite-redesignThinking about investing in a website redesign? Great! You’ll be positioned to better market your products and sell your services. But not if you ignore your buyers. You see, your website needs to speak to your audience’s pain points, needs and problems. If it doesn’t, you might as well put your wallet away and save the money you would have spent on a website redesign. Seriously. Because a website that doesn’t speak to your buyer personas won’t get results. This article will convince you to spend the time and resources building out your buyer persona BEFORE building a website.
  4. Why Is It So Hard to Make Content? Chris Brogan, author of this article, started blogging in 1998. What???? In the digital age, nearly 20 years of doing anything is a long, long, long time! So Brogan is an authority on writing digital content. And he’s got sage advice for people who are stuck creating consistently effective and relevant content  –  without making it difficult. This is definitely a must-read!!!
  5. Why You Should Steal My Daughter’s Playbook for Effective Email Outreachmoz-diary-email Social media should definitely be part of your marketing strategy, but do you worry how to do it right? Fearful that you might turn people away? The author learned an important lesson from his daughter about how to effectively use social media to get on prospects’ radar, be careful not to oversell, act in a selfless way, make sure you’re on the same page as your prospects, and activate the conversation with her network. If your email campaigns have been lagging, the lessons you learn from reading this article will give it a boost. 
  6. Social Media Touchdown: How 20 Smart Brands Won the Biggest Content Game of the Year The Super Bowl is nothing if not a frenzy of smart, effective advertising. This article breaks down how brands seized the opportunity and “won” their content game. From the feel-good, creative, fast-acting ads, big and small brands capitalized on a huge audience through innovation, running contests, and more. Get some inspiration by reading through the article, which is full of images and videos to show you exactly who the Super Bowl winners were. 
  7. 18 Unusual Habits of Extremely Creative People18-Unusual-Habits-of-Extremely-Creative-People If you don’t think of yourself as creative, but you’d like to be, no worries! This article speaks to the daily routines people have adopted to drive their creativity. And you don’t have to be innately clever to be a force of innovation in your personal and professional life. 
  8. 7 Real-World Ways to Think Like an Artist for Better Content MarketingDo you want to improve your company’s content marketing? Copyblogger advises you to think like an artist, ensuring readers that marketing and art are NOT separate endeavors. Start to think about your own marketing processes differently, and let the author walk you through how to marry the art and science of what you do, along with the execution and strategy. You’ll be surprised at how “artistic” you already are in your day-to-day tasks, and find ways to improve.
  9. 10 Things You Can Do Today to Increase Website SalesBottom line, your website should generate sales. If it isn’t, you can make some simple tweaks to boost your conversions. One thing the author of this article believes is that a good sales machine takes time to build. Don’t expect it to get into 5th gear at the start, but by making some changes like simplifying your home page, adding videos, and capturing email addresses, you can create a conversion-generating machine to power your business forward.
  10. What Do Conversions, Your Homepage and Vodka Martinis Have in Common? Does this sound like a familiar initiative: Do more with less. If you’re being continuously asked to increase conversions while reducing your staff, lowering your budget and decreasing tools, you’re not alone. Unbounce offers a real-world example of how Kiva Microfunds changed their homepage to drive conversions, and ultimately, secure higher sales.