Inbound Marketing Blog

Corey Smith Corey Smith is the founder of Tribute Media and serves as the Digital Marketing Strategist. He is also the author of "Do It Right: A CEO's Guide to Web Strategy" and "Tweet It Right: A CEO's Guide to Twitter."

How Your Company's Focus on a Primary Objective Contributes to Success

Posted by Corey Smith on Apr 5, 2019 3:46:00 PM

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When I look at the successes and failures in business, I think I have found consistency between them.

The successful businesses remember their primary objective and the businesses that fail have forgotten what they are working for. Their efforts are misplaced because they forgot the reasoning and goals behind their efforts.

Let's put a practical example with this concept.

18 Hubspot Academy Certifications: The Rundown

Posted by Corey Smith on Jan 29, 2018 2:45:39 PM

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Tribute Media has been a HubSpot Agency Partner for about three years now. During that time, we've learned a lot. When we started with HubSpot, there were, if I remember correctly, only four certifications from HubSpot Academy. HubSpot has worked very hard to improve their training offerings for their clients and their agency partners.

When we first signed up as an agency partner early in 2015, I knew that the only way we'd be successful was to embrace HubSpot fully. It's paid off in spades for us and for our clients who have done the same. The Inbound Methodology is paramount to that success.

The most important question that I'm hoping to answer is: Is it worth your time to invest in attaining HubSpot Certifications?

The Death of the 8-hour Workday

Posted by Corey Smith on Dec 26, 2017 7:17:43 PM

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The eight-hour workday is a tired and old concept. It's time to put aside this tired, arcane way of thinking about work. In order to understand how to fix it, we have to understand why we have the eight-hour workday to begin with.

In the late 1800s, full-time manufacturing employees would work around 100 hours per week. Death and injury were commonplace.  It wasn't uncommon for children to put in far more hours than we think reasonable today in the factories, fields, mills, and mines.

Why Working Remotely is Harder than You Think

Posted by Corey Smith on Nov 3, 2017 3:20:41 PM

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Last year we tested, and then made official, Office Free Friday. It's been a very cool thing for us as a company because it's provided us some much-needed focus time each week where our customers expect us to be a little less available.

If you aren't interested in clicking through to that announcement link, I'll give you the simple gist here. On Fridays, we officially close our office and our phones go directly to voicemail. It's still a working day, but because the office is closed, our employees have an option to work wherever they want.

Why a Human Presence is Crucial to Web Marketing

Posted by Corey Smith on Jun 26, 2017 10:30:00 AM

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Imagine, if you will, an office where everything is gray; the chairs, the walls, the floor. The employees are all similarly dressed in gray tones as well. There are no expressions on their faces and their voices are monotone. It’s cold and robotic. 

Now think about the last time you were on a business’s social media page or reading their content. Was it fun and personable or was it drab and gray? It is surprising how many businesses are still following this no-personality, all-business persona. Maybe it's because they are afraid they'll be perceived as unprofessional, or maybe they just don't have the right person managing their web marketing and social media accounts, either way, they are failing to engage their audience.

If you are one of these businesses, then it is definitely time to rethink your company’s image.

What Skills Do You Need to Build a Website?

Posted by Corey Smith on Apr 17, 2017 8:22:00 AM

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I had a neighbor ask to pick my brain about what it takes to move into the web design and development field. She is starting her degree program and still has a couple of years but is wise to start working toward her career now. I was originally just going to respond to her directly but I figured I’d write a blog post because I think it might be helpful to others, too.

One thing to note: the answers I give here are based on how we do things at Tribute Media but we are a little unique… mostly in how we work with our employees. Our office is closed on Fridays and we encourage our employees to work remotely every Friday. Most agencies/companies will expect their employees to work on site but allow contractors to work wherever. There is something positive creatively about working on-site with your team that you can’t get remotely. (Oh, and a little, not-so-humble brag here.)

Safe Content Sucks

Posted by Corey Smith on Jan 23, 2017 8:47:00 AM

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When we're willing to ruffle a few feathers, we get more engagement. The more engagement we get, the more people will talk to us and about us. 

In 2017, you can find plenty of examples of this dynamic all around you. The abundance of click-baiting and fake news is probably the best. They elicit emotions and cause us to take action.

Facebook and the Baiting of Clicks

If you haven't heard the term "clickbait," it refers to a title that begs you to click the link for an article. For example, a link might have the title, "You'll be amazed by number 7." When you click through, however, 7 really isn't that important. It's sort of like being Rick Rolled.

I explored this a bit in another blog post I wrote titled, “Is Facebook Making us Stupid and Lazy?” (Of course, I think the answer is yes. You’ll have to take a gander later and let me know what you think.)

Remember Vin Fiz? A 100 Year-Old Lesson in Brands & Web Marketing

Posted by Corey Smith on Sep 15, 2016 9:15:00 AM

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In 1911, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hurst made an offer of $50,000 to the first person who could fly a plane from New York to LA in under 30 consecutive days. Calbraith "Cal" Perry Rogers took up the challenge.

Of course, Cal didn't have any money. He had the plane, but in the "good ole days" an airplane required a very large support crew. So, he started talking to businesses about possible sponsorship and was able to secure a sponsorship from Amour and Company for the 1911 Wright Flyer. The company had created a new grape soft drink and wanted to get the word out.

The Vin Fiz Flyer was born. Emblazoned with the logo for Vin Fiz and messages of "Drink Vin Fiz" and "Ideal Grape Drink," Cal began his journey across North America from Sheepshead Bay, New York on September 17, 1911. Not to be outdone, all of the support train cars, paid for by Armour and Company, also sported messages of "Drink Vin Fiz."

Of course, none of this changed the fact that the grape soda advertised as the "Sparkling Grape Drink" did not even come close to living up to its purported luster.

Does the Marketing Silver Bullet Exist?

Posted by Corey Smith on Sep 6, 2016 9:32:00 AM

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Years ago, in a different life, I was a sales manager in a different industry. I had ten sales associates working for me in outside sales. We won some and we lost some.

Whether we won a deal or lost a deal, I would ask my sales rep to debrief. I wanted to know how it all worked out. I was always much more interested in the reasons we lost deals than the reasons we won deals.

In that highly commoditized industry, more often than not, the reason for losing a deal came back as, "We were too expensive."

That always frustrated me; not because we were over-priced but because the sales rep didn't understand that price is only one part of the buying decision. It's usually not even the most important part.