Facebook's data privacy scandal has dominated the news these past few months. Today, the company is reporting something it's likely more excited about.

On today's Q1 earnings call, the Silicon Valley giant reported strong numbers for Q1 2018, with a total revenue of $11.97 billion and 1.45 billion daily active users. Both numbers outpaced estimates from Wall Street and Facebook's slower growth in Q4 2017.

Positive Numbers Despite Negative Press

Such a positive earnings report might come as a bit of a surprise at first, on the heels of the revelation that 87 million Facebook users had their data misused by data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica -- and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's subsequent hearing before Congress earlier this month.

But these events, while significant, came late into the opening quarter of 2018, and likely had little influence on the Q1 data Facebook is seeing today.

Nonetheless, Facebook's executive team didn't hesitate to tackle the subject of data privacy during the live Q1 earnings call this afternoon.

"We have a responsibility to keep our community safe and secure," Zuckerberg said at the start of the earnings report, reiterating his opening remarks to Congress during his hearing. Facebook's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg expanded on this sentiment later into the call, saying people should be able to control their advertising experience while using Facebook.

"At the same time," Zuckerberg continued, "we also have a responsibility to keep moving forward." To that end, the term that came up repeatedly during...

Welcome to Wednesday, and the latest edition of "Unriddled": the HubSpot Marketing Blog's mid-week digest of the tech news you need to know.

This week is big on news from Amazon -- from Robots, to user numbers, to in-car deliveries. But that's not the only thing happening around tech town, and we're here to help decrypt what's happening in this big, wide sector.

It's our Wednesday tech news roundup, and we're breaking it down.

Unriddled: The Tech News You Need 1. We Finally Know How Many Prime Members Amazon Has

In an annual letter written last week to shareholders, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos disclosed a long-sought-after figure by analysts and tech writers alike: how many Prime members it has. The grand total, he wrote, has "exceeded 100 million."

Amazon Prime is a paid subscription model (for an annual fee of $99, or $12.99 per month) offered by online retailing giant Amazon, offering such perks as free two-day delivery on many products, as well as free streaming videos and music selections. In certain regions, a membership also includes free two-hour delivery of certain items through a service called Prime Now.

Just yesterday, Amazon announced the launch of In-Car Delivery, which allows Prime members to have Amazon packages delivered to their cars if they're parked at home, work, or near other locations in your address book." However, it does come with eligibility requirements, depending on the make and model of your car, and your location.

There are a lot of reasons you might be thinking about deleting your Facebook account -- perhaps you think you spend too much time on it and want to take a social media cleanse, or maybe you and your friends have already stopped using it, so there’s no reason to keep it around.

It’s important to understand deleting your Facebook account is different from deactivating your account -- once deleted, it can never be recovered.

Which means, if you’re intent on getting rid of your account for temporary detox purposes, you might want to consider alternative methods to detoxing from social media without deleting anything.

But if you’re sure you’re ready to leave the world’s most popular social media network, it’s a simple process.

Keep in mind, if you delete your Facebook, your photos and all your Facebook information will be lost forever. If you want to save that information, I’d suggest downloading a copy of it.

To download a copy of all your Facebook information, go to “Settings” and click, “Download a copy of your Facebook data,” and then, “Start My Archive.”

This will ensure you can still find all those awkward middle school photos, years down the road.

To find out how to delete or deactivate your Facebook account, or delete a group or page you’ve created, read on.

How to Delete or Deactivate Your Facebook Account How to Delete Facebook Go to

If you're reading this blog post, chances are you already know you should incorporate more video content into your marketing.

But like most new strategies, you might need to prove its ROI before you get budget. And that can be tricky, because to make a great video, you need a few things -- like a camera and editing software.

You might already have a high-quality camera built into your smartphone, but editing your raw footage and preparing it for publication requires a third-party mobile app. You might even need to hop on the computer for the more extensive post-production projects.

There's a good chance you already have video editing software installed on your computer. For Windows, that's Windows Movie Maker, and for Macs, it's iMovie. But depending on the purpose your video is serving -- and the content channel to which you're distributing it -- you may find that these options aren't packed with enough features.

The good news: There are several free and inexpensive video editing apps and tools you can download that run the gamut from super simple to Hollywood-level powerful.

The following 15 solutions can help you make video magic -- whether your video is meant for Instagram, YouTube, or a similar channel where you audience is hungry for content.

Best Video Editing...
How to Write a Business Plan Write an executive summary. Describe your company and business model. Analyze your market's conditions. Explain your product and/or service. Outline all operations & management roles. Design a marketing & sales strategy. Detail a financial plan with business costs, funding, and revenue projections. Summarize the above with an appendix.

Not all business ideas are good ones. Take my friend Eric, for example, who had the idea of a cell phone that doubles as a taser. Probably not the best product to have on the market.

A lot of people have business ideas -- it's whether these ideas are any good that really matters. That's precisely why, if you intend to actually build a business from your idea, it's helpful to create a business plan so you can build out your concept in detail and prove that it can really work, both logistically and financially.

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a living document that maps out the details of your business. It covers what your business will sell, how it will be structured, what the market looks like, how you plan to sell your product or service, what funding you'll need,...

Buyer personas are a crucial component of successful inbound marketing, particularly for the sales and marketing departments. After all, the marketing team needs to know to whom they are marketing, and the sales team needs to know to whom they are selling.

But once you sit down to craft your buyer personas, you may find yourself staring blankly at a white screen for some time, wondering where on earth you're supposed to begin.

Download our free buyer persona template here to learn how to create buyer personas for your business.

Before you spend time and money on research, ask yourself the questions below to help you develop your personas, then use our free buyer persona template above to share your personas with the rest of your company. 

Keep in mind you'll need a content marketing strategy to reach your buyer persona. Want to learn the process? Check out HubSpot Academy's free content marketing training resource page.

20 Buyer Persona Questions to Ask When Identifying Your Audience Questions About Their Personal Background 1. Describe your personal demographics.

Collecting demographic information is a great place to begin drafting your personas because it's easy to obtain and starts to paint a clearer, more personal picture of your customer. Are they married? What's their annual household income? Where do they live? Are they male or female? How old are they? Do they have children?

2. Describe your educational background.

What level of education did they complete? Which schools did...

Facebook has published its internal enforcement guidelines. 

These guidelines -- or community standards, as they're also known -- are designed to help human moderators decide what content should (not) be allowed on Facebook. Now, the social network wants the public to know how such decisions are made.

"We decided to publish these internal guidelines for two reasons," wrote Facebook's VP of Global Product Management Monica Bickert in a statement. "First, the guidelines will help people understand where we draw the line on nuanced issues."

"Second," the statement continues, "providing these details makes it easier for everyone, including experts in different fields, to give us feedback so that we can improve the guidelines – and the decisions we make – over time."

Facebook's content moderation practices have been the topic of much discussion and, at times, contention. At CEO Mark Zuckerberg's congressional hearings earlier this month, several lawmakers asked about the removal or suppression of certain content that they believed was based on political orientation.

And later this week, the House Judiciary Committee will host yet another hearing on the "filtering practices of social media platforms," where witnesses from Facebook, Google, and Twitter have been invited to testify -- though none have confirmed their attendance.

What the Standards Look Like

According to a tally from The Verge reporter Casey Newton, the newly-released community standards total 27 pages, and are divided into six main sections:

  1. Violence and Criminal Behavior
  2. Safety
  3. Objectionable Content
  4. Integrity...
Does Blogging Help With SEO? Blogging helps boost SEO quality by positioning your website as a relevant answer to your customers' questions. Blog posts that specifically use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and get customers to visit your site.

Search engine optimization is incredibly important for marketers. When you optimize your web pages -- including your blog posts -- you're making your website more visible to people who are entering keywords associated with your product or service via search engines like Google.

But Google's copious algorithm updates make this tricky. And today's SEO best practices are all about relevancy and intent. Keep reading -- I'll explain.

How do you know what matters and what doesn't? What are today's blog ranking tactics, and what's considered "old-school"? How on Earth can you keep it all straight?

Confusion is a common issue facing digital content marketers -- and we want to help. In this post, we'll cover how to optimize your blog posts for the keywords you care about, along with a few other optimization tactics you should keep in mind.

Note that this list doesn't cover every single rule under the sun. Rather, the following 10 SEO tips are the on-page factors to get you started with an...

The average job opening attracts 250 resumes, and the average interview process from start to finish can take 23 days. Phone interviews can help you determine which candidates have the critical thinking and interpersonal skills necessary for an in-person interview. When you weed out less qualified applicants right off the bat, you can narrow down your candidate pool, and limit the amount of time wasted in your search.

While a resume supplies you with general information about a person’s background, a phone interview helps you ask second-level questions to start forming a deeper, more holistic picture of a candidate's background and skills.

But with only about thirty minutes on the phone, what questions can you ask to build good rapport with your interviewee and receive some truly insightful answers? Better yet, what can you ask to decipher whether the applicant is a good fit for your company and the role?

To help you get the most out of your phone interview process, we’ve narrowed down to eleven of the best questions to ensure you’re discovering the the best candidates to bring into the office.

Phone interview questions Tell me a bit about yourself? What attracted you to apply for this position? list item list item list item list item list item How would you describe your work style? What can you tell me that isn’t on your resume that is important for me...
What Is a Website Audit? A website audit is an examination of page performance prior to large-scale search engine optimization (SEO) or a website redesign. Auditing your website can determine whether or not it's optimized to achieve your traffic goals, and if not, how you can improve it to increase performance.

When was the last time you gave your website a checkup?

If you've never before audited your website, it's been a while since you have, or you're planning a website redesign in the near future, use this post as your go-to website audit checklist to make sure your website is primed for maximum SEO and conversion results.

Keep in mind that in most cases, you'll probably want to pair up with someone with a technical brain for this, whether that be someone in your in-house IT department or an outsourced party.

The Benefits of a Website Audit

Before we dive into the things you should be keeping an eye out for as you're auditing your website, let's review some of the benefits of doing one. Here are some of the top benefits from a marketing perspective:

Website Performance Optimization

Website audits usually evaluate a site not only for its content, but also for its technical performance.

As a result, an audit will give...

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony before U.S. lawmakers earlier this month seems to have done little to restore trust in the company.

According to a HubSpot survey of 300 U.S. internet users, only 12% of people trust Facebook more than they did before Zuckerberg's congressional hearings.

In fact, the results indicate that nearly half of the respondents (45%) trust Facebook even less than they did before the testimony, with 28% reporting that they have "much less" faith in the company now.

Less than half of the respondents (43%) report that their trust in Facebook has stayed the same.

While the extent to which the respondents viewed the hearings isn't immediately clear, these findings do align with recent data from Blind, an anonymous workplace app for tech company employees.

After the Zuckerberg hearings, Blind app users were asked if they've deleted Facebook since original revelations about the misuse of personal data by consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. We previously reported on an earlier Blind survey indicating that 31% of tech workers said they would delete Facebook.

According to this most recent survey, however, 13.7% of Blind app users said they did, in fact, delete Facebook, with 23.6% reporting that they restricted their privacy settings.

Source: Blind

"Trust was a recurring theme at these hearings, so it’s no surprise that trust in the company has taken a hit in the days and weeks since Zuckerberg’s testimony,"...

Let’s face it: A job search is, typically, anything but fun.

It’s almost as if it carries its own five stages of grief. At first, there’s denial of its demoralizing nature. Then comes the anger over either radio silence or rejection from prospective employers. Of course, there’s bargaining -- “I promise to never complain about work again, if I can find a new job!”

That’s often followed by depression, and the idea that one is simply just unhireable. Then, there’s acceptance: “This is awful, but I have to keep trying, anyway.”

But we have good news. It is possible to have a little fun with your job search -- and maybe even make yourself a better candidate in the process. The magic, it turns out, could be in your cover letter.

It may be true that only 26% of recruiters have deemed cover letters important, but that doesn't mean yours has to contribute to that statistic. In fact, it might be that cover letters are deemed insignificant because so few of them stand out. Here's an opportunity for you to exercise your creativity at the earliest stage of the recruitment process.

Personalization, after all, goes beyond replacing the title and company name in each letter you send to recruiters.

What does that look like in practice, and how can you make...

A PR campaign can have a long-lasting impact on your brand’s reputation and public image. But it must be well-planned.

An effective PR campaign is more than just a press release on a new product or a fundraiser to raise brand awareness. To create a remarkably effective PR campaign, you need to take some big extra steps.

If done right, your PR campaign can attract national (and positive) media attention, boost sales drastically, and create a positive relationship between your company and the public for years to come. To help you reach these heights with your next PR campaign, we’ve compiled ten effective tips.

What Is a PR campaign? A public relations campaign has a clear objective, such as raising awareness of a product, informing the public of company news, reaching a larger audience, or improving the brand’s reputation. It uses strategic messaging to communicate with one’s audience and successfully reach this objective. 10 Pro Tips for Running an Effective PR Campaign Before Releasing Your Message 1. Set a Goal, its Limitations, and Metric of Success:

It’s important to start with a big-picture goal. What do you hope to achieve with your campaign? Do you want to reach a new audience? Do you want to boost sales on a product? Do you want to build a positive relationship with the public?

Once you’ve chosen a big-picture goal,...

When a video pops up on your Facebook feed, what do you usually do first? My guess is that you take a peek at its length, ponder whether it's worth your time, and let that thought process influence whether or not you press play.

Once you do actually press play, how many times have you abandoned the video just a few seconds in and scrolled down to the next post? I know I have. I don't finish half the Facebook videos I start.

It seems impossible to hold people's attention nowadays. Phones buzz with distracting notifications and promise instant gratification, tempting people to check their screens every five minutes. This has diminished the human attention span so much, some studies claim it's now shorter than a goldfish's.

Video marketers know we lack patience. So they're starting to tailor content for our dwindling attention spans. In fact, 56% of all videos published in the last year are less than 2 minutes long.

But marketers must innovate further because users expect different video lengths on different platforms. Odds are, they're more willing to watch a 2-minute long video on YouTube than on Twitter.

If you don't customize video length for each platform, then you're not fully catering to your audience. Sooner or later, the attention they give to your brand will wither...

Best Websites for Stock Photography Negative Space Death to Stock Picjumbo Stokpic Kaboompics Startup Stock Photos Freerange LibreShot Fancy Crave Unsplash SplitShire Life of Pix HubSpot Pexels Gratisography Jay Mantri ISO Republic New Old Stock Pixabay

I got the image above for free on Unsplash.

Yet for some reason, many publishers continue to push out cheap (and usually cheesy) stock photography to serve as a representation of their brand.

The truth is, high-quality stock photos don't have to come hand-in-hand with a hassle or high price tag. To prove it, we've compiled a list of 20 awesome resources for free, high-quality stock images for websites, blogs, and similar online properties.

From enviable office spaces to stunning scenery, we're certain you'll find exactly what you're looking for with the help of this roundup.

(HubSpot customers, get access to 60,000 totally free Shutterstock photos right within your portal by clicking here.)

20 of the Best Free Stock Photo Websites for Royalty-Free Images 1. Negative Space

Negative Space offers up new free stock...

People have questions about the security of our digital data.

That ranges broadly, whether it's passwords, online banking information, or what we do on social media. And more than ever, people are asking, "How is my information protected?"

In order to understand that, it seems, it's important to first take a closer look at the information users might provide to social networks in the first place. That's been a topic of growing interest in the wake of the Facebook Cambridge Analytica revelation, and new details, questions, and announcements that have since emerged.

To help make sense of it -- and not just when it comes to Facebook, but also how these things work on networks like Twitter and LinkedIn -- Varonis created an infographic to break down the type of information users typically provide to these social media platforms, and what each one had already been doing to keep data secure.

Some things have changed in a very short period of time. Facebook, for instance, has announced a slew of new protections and policies over the past month, and further modifications are anticipated from a number of platforms as we count down the days leading up to the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May.

But it's still interesting to have a look at just how much information we share, and what different networks have been doing in the way of safety until now. 

What is PR? Public Relations professionals help a business or individual cultivate a positive reputation with the public through various unpaid or earned communications, including traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. They also help clients defend their reputation during a crisis that threatens their credibility.

There’s an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.”

Public relations isn’t an easy profession to define. In fact, in 2012, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) accepted a few thousand submissions before finally agreeing on a definition:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

After reading PRSA’s definition, you might still have questions about PR: how can an organization take its beneficial relationship to the public and turn it into good press? Are you really “praying” for something, like the old saying goes, if you’re using a strategic process to get results?

Hang with me -- let’s break it down.

The positive, storytelling side of PR

A PR professional works with an organization, company, government, or individual to cultivate a story that portrays that client’s reputation, idea, product, position, or accomplishment in a positive light. So, in a sense, you can think of PR professionals as storytellers. Unlike...

This post is an excerpt from the video series 4 Essential Microsoft Excel Skills Every Marketer Should Learn. If you want to become a master of the almighty spreadsheet, watch the full video series here.

I know, I know … “VLOOKUP function” sounds like the geekiest, most complicated thing ever.

But trust me: as was the case with pivot tables, Microsoft Excel's VLOOKUP function is easier to use than you think. What’s more, it is incredibly powerful, and is definitely something you want to have in your arsenal of analytical weapons.

So, what does VLOOKUP do, exactly? Here’s the simple explanation: The VLOOKUP function searches for a specific value in your data, and once it identifies that value, it can find -- and display -- some other piece of information that’s associated with that value.

VLOOKUP Example You could use the VLOOKUP formula  to transfer revenue data from a separate spreadsheet and match it with the appropriate customer based on a common identifier like customer ID or email address. In this example, VLOOKUP enables you to easily see revenue by customer without searching, copying, and pasting for each individual cell.

In practical terms, this means you can take the revenue data from your second spreadsheet and integrate it with the customer data in your first spreadsheet in order to reveal the bigger picture about your business's performance.

Below, you'll see a five-step guide to performing this VLOOKUP example, followed by a...

You've heard it from us before:

  • "The way consumers prefer to access content has changed."
  • "We're seeing a fundamental shift in the way we market and sell products."
  • "Buyers are no longer okay with outbound emails and cold calls. Instead, marketers need to create and deliver content that meets the consumer where they already are."

While all of those things are true, you may want to know which preferences have changed and how to meet consumers where they already are, right?

After all, not all consumers have the same preferences. Marketing is not a one-sized-fits-all-solution.

Our HubSpot Research team knows that marketers need more information on what consumers want. But we also know that not all consumers have the same preferences. That's why every year our Research team surveys consumers from all over the world to collect original data on content consumption preferences.

What stood out this year is this: while the average consumer preferences might show certain trends, you need to get granular with your data if you want to truly understand how different segments of consumers interact. Namely, consumers in different age groups have vastly different preferences when it comes to consuming, accessing, and discover content.

For example,...

You've heard the term "break even." It's a popular way to describe a time when you spent exactly as much money as you made. "We gambled $200 at the casino and won $200, so we broke even."

But in a business context, it's not that simple.

Your break even point doesn't just happen in Vegas, and needs to be constantly recalculated for you to turn a profit in the long term. Here's how to find it.

Find Your Contribution Margin

Recently, I explained how a business calculates its contribution margin -- the amount (ideally in the form of a percentage) that your revenue from sales exceeds your variable costs to develop the product. There are two reasons you should care about this figure.

First, your contribution margin deliberately leaves out your operating costs so you can see exactly how profitable your product is. For example, while software and website costs to an ecommerce clothing business don't directly contribute to the business's product (the clothing), the cost its thread vendor charges does. The business omits the first cost because it only wants to see how profitable its clothing is against what it pays to produce it.

The second reason contribution margin is so important? You need it to calculate your break even point.

Although operating costs are irrelevant when assessing a product's profitability, they're critical when assessing your business's profitability. These costs, also called fixed costs, factor back into your books when calculating your profit margin --...