Get your time back with these marketing templates, tips, and time-savers

One of the cultural values at Buffer is to live smarter, not harder. We like to think this extends into our workflows as well. This is why marketing spreadsheets have been such a boon for us, helping us to track important social media metrics, see our blog growth, and get more work done in less time. That being said, spreadsheets are not always easy. Finding or building the right ones and figuring out how best to use them can be time-consuming tasks. We’d love to help. To give you a hand with managing spreadsheets in Excel and Google Sheets (and hopefully save a great…

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Google’s new site showcases its open source projects and favorite tools

Over the years, Google has not only implemented numerous pieces open source software in its own products and services, but also contributed several tools for people to use in their own projects. That includes things like a JPEG encoder which can reduce file sizes by 35 percent, beautiful usable fonts including Roboto and Noto, and Bazel for testing software builds. It’s now launched a new site that showcases all these efforts. Google Open Source includes a directory of projects that the company has made available to the community, a list of initiatives it runs to engage with programmers, as well…

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Designer’s Most Hated & Loved Fonts

There was a time when you only have to choose between Arial or Times New Roman.

Now that there are thousands of fonts, it can be daunting choosing the perfect one for your project.

To inspire you, 8 designers share their most loved and hated fonts.

At the end of the day, it comes down to context, overuse or misuse. Select a typeface based on the message it communicates.

More font resources:

Favorite font: Gotham

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

Inspired by 20th century architectural signage, Gotham’s assertive and geometric appearance makes it a favorite font for many designers, myself included. Though some have criticized the typeface’s overuse, I think it’s safe to say Gotham has an intriguing, timeless appeal that will outlast any trends.

> Get Gotham font

Most hated font: Papyrus

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

A font that, in my opinion, is used far too often — perhaps some find the rough, unbalanced look of the letterforms appealing. Or, perhaps designers appreciate its accessibility, yet still find it “edgy” compared to generic fonts like Times or Arial. Whatever the case, I think we all could do with a little less Papyrus in our lives.

– Dustin Coulson, Senior Graphic Designer at FREE Branding & Digital.

Favorite font: Poppins

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts

My favorite font is Poppins. It matches up well to the saying “Good design is as little design as possible” by Dieter Rams. The geometric shape of the letter form is near equal in terms of height and the spacing between characters is perfect. It looks great as a heading font and as body text.

> Get Poppins font (free)

Most hated font: BlackOak

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts

The font I hate the most is Blackoak. I can’t look at it more than a minute. Extremely wide which limits its application and creates readability issues at certain sizes.

– Jake Gaviola, Website Designer at Coalition Technologies

Favorite Font: Exo 2

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts

My favorite font is Exo 2. Why? When you ask Paul McCarney what’s his favorite record, he always says, “The one I’m working on.” We are using Exo 2 for our new corporate font for our own communication and web because it’s got a nice range of styles and weights and seems crisp, distinctive yet readable.

> Get Exo 2 font (free)

Most hated font: Triple Condensed Gothic

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts
Triple Condensed Gothic is used on movie credits and you can’t even read it. The only one who does unreadable fonts well (and with purpose) is David Carson, the rest of us should make our words understandable.

– David Langton, Branding & Website Designer at Langton Cherubino Group.

Favorite Font: Futura

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

The classic, timeless lines and perfect circulars of Futura is probably the reason why it’s my top choice. It’s my failsafe font, well, I can’t even think of anything that it doesn’t go well with. Big companies like Airbnb, Best Buy, and Avon are using this. Its relevancy keeps going and it will continue to appeal and be relevant for years to come.

> Get Futura font

Most hated font: Monotype Corsiva and Brush Script

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

I hate handwritten-wannabe fonts. The italicized ones that are overly used in award certificates and wedding invitations. There are a lot of people using Monotype Corsiva and Brush Script because they look “formal” or “fancy”. Neither of those two descriptions make sense to me.

– Sam Hayes, Website Designer at Avanti.

Favorite Font: Brandon Grotesque

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

I love Brandon Grotesque because of its versatility. I can use it for a vintage design, way pointing sign, interactive display, even a wedding invite. It is at home anywhere you take it.

> Get Brandon Grotesque font

Most hated font: Gotham

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

Don’t get me wrong, Gotham is a well-made font. It reads well and lays out effortlessly but it’s become a design crutch and overused.

– Lance McIlhany, UI/UX & Data Visualization Designer at The Factory Kids.

Favorite Font: Adele

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

I’m a sucker for anything bouncy and cheerful; I’ve recently been loving Adele by Celcius Design. It’s very bright and unexpected. A lot of my designs for my job work in my own hand-drawn illustrations, and I find that this font compliments my style really nicely.

> Get Adele font

Least favorite font: Bleeding Cowboys

Designers Favorite and Hated Fonts

My least favorite font, besides Comic Sans (obviously) is Bleeding Cowboys. I worked in a t-shirt printing business a few summers ago, and trying to set that font up for print on myriad rodeo-themed bachelorette parties. It just ruined it for me. It’s tacky and unpredictable, and it needs to go away forever.

– Lianna Potrikus, Illustrator & Graphic Designer at Pretty Polite Print Boutique.

Favorite font: Klavika

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts

Klavika has got to be my favorite font. Every time I use it I’m just mesmerized how well it looks. I give it to the G’s, be it the upper or lower cases, both are notable and head turners. Klavika has a soft, welcoming vibe to it, yet it’s so classy and striking.

> Get Klavika font

Most hated font: Times New Roman

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts

Opposite to Klavika, the sharp points and overall unreadability of Times New Roman makes it my most hated font. It makes me feel uneasy by the near sight of it.

– Hannah Grant, Designer & Photographer at Royal Essence

Favorite Font: Replica

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts

If I had to choose one favorite font, that would be for sure my beloved Replica from Lineto. This grid-based, geometric font with diagonal cuts is perfect for minimal typographic projects. In use, it smoothly blends in with your design. The main thing about Replica is the calm, undisturbed, and trustful feel that it gives to the text content. That’s a big yes from me!

> Get Replica font

Least favorite font: Arial

Designers Favorite and Disliked Fonts

What about bad ones? Definitely this big ’lazy family’ that suffers from overuse. All silly posters, texts, logos made by someone being too lazy to choose something different than standard fonts like Calibri (sorry bro!), Arial, Times… etc. Also, whenever you look for a handwritten font, I’ve got a tip for you, try with your own hands!

– Arkadiusz Bączyk, Senior Designer / Art Director at SYZYGY Warsaw.

How about you, what are your favorite and most hated fonts? Tell us on the comments section below.

Apple lets developers respond to iOS app reviews at last

Along with the recent release of iOS 10.3, Apple has updated its App Store with a much-needed feature: the ability for developers to respond directly to users who leave app reviews. People often report issues with apps in their reviews, and request features and changes as well as ask questions about how to use certain functions. Enabling devs to reply directly to them through a relevant communication channel could make it easier to resolve those queries, while also giving them a chance to get higher ratings on their apps after the fact. Developers will be able to look through users’…

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Amazon now delivers groceries straight to your trunk in 15 minutes

Amazon’s latest experiment in retailing will see the company deliver groceries to your vehicle at a designated pick-up point at a time you choose, with a minimum of just 15 minutes. The service, dubbed AmazonFresh Pickup, has just launched in beta in two Seattle locations and builds on the company’s existing grocery delivery business. Presently, it’s being tested with Amazon employees, but it’ll soon be available exclusively to Prime subscribers at no extra charge and won’t require a minimum order amount. Once it expands more widely, you’ll be able to order grocery store staples like meats, fresh produce, bread, dairy and…

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This robot automatically prints and burns Trump’s tweets

If asked to describe President Trump’s Twitter persona, I’d say he was a can of gasoline looking for a lit match. Incendiary tweets manage to rile supporters and skeptics alike, and all we can do is watch the world burn, at least figuratively, each time Trump hits the “Tweet” button. This isn’t by accident, Trump enjoys the attention. A Twitter bot manages to make this analogy a literal one, and outshine Trump in the process. For each tweet, @burnedyourtweet does just what its name suggests: prints, cuts, grabs, moves, and burns the message. .@RealDonaldTrump I burned your tweet. — Burned…

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How to Make Sure Your Digital Marketing Strategy is Results-Driven

Posted by Alex-T

To measure, or not to measure?

When it comes to outlining potential metrics in digital marketing, I always ask myself a question: “Can I measure this?”

For the most crucial elements of your strategy, the answer will likely be yes. But digital marketing involves tons of metrics that we must track on a daily basis. The majority of the data we gather gives us a general understanding of what’s going on, yet keeps us too far away from reaching our business goals. For instance, Google Analytics alone has more than 75 standard reports and each of them can be modified, providing us with even more data. Trust me, it’s hard to stick to your goal if you delve too deep into analytics. So, yes, the struggle is real.

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here. In this article I'll break down the most important steps you need to take when you are at the crossroads of defining your company’s short- or long-term digital marketing objectives. What if things go south, you ask? How do I fulfill my boss’ expectations? Will I ever be able to get over a failure? OK, let’s not get overly dramatic here. Read on to learn why I believe in the power of KPIs, reasons why you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment, the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone, how to properly set up your “plan, act, measure, improve” routine, and which metrics can be deemed reliable when you work with digital marketing channels (and how to not get misguided by them).

Selecting the right goals

One question that you really don’t want to spend more than a few seconds answering is: “Was it worth it?” To ensure that the effort, time, and money you put into your marketing journey aren’t wasted, you need to have a clear vision of where you're headed.

So how do you know which goals are right for you?

Your best bet would be to split your goals into two separate groups that are focused on:

  1. Business objectives
  2. Tracking your own internal progress

Now, let’s see what these goals are all about, and what achieving them entails.

Business goals

Bertie Charles Forbes once said, “If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business.”

Steering any type of business in the right direction is never a piece of cake. And no one ever called finding a roadmap for how to get there a no-brainer.

Goals are the essence of expectations — the expectations of your boss, your clients, the CEO of your company, or anyone else whose opinion should be taken into consideration when it comes to your business strategy. Will there be any room left for a compromise? It’s up to you to decide, since these goals aren’t "one-size-fits-all."

But what I can tell you for sure is that you have to “keep it real” and ensure that your business goals are attainable and realistic. Setting them requires determination, hard work, and perseverance. Here are a couple of handy tips for you:

  1. Do some research and find out what the major current trends in your industry are. Is your industry growing rapidly? Numbers don’t lie. Look into the matter and find the percentage of growth.
    • Use to can learn about your general industry trends. Statista is particularly useful when it comes to digital markets.
    • Another great place to learn about industry trends is SimilarWeb. They have a solid list of industries that should give you an insight about what traffic sources are the most advantageous and why.
  2. Remember the past, live in the present, and think about the future. Gather as much historical data as possible. Historical data is vital — it helps predict the future of a company and a market.

    The results here should be delivered based on internal data gathered from Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, with an emphasis on the number and type of transactions and information about your clients. In order for the results to be accurate, this data has to be gathered for at least a few months. It's essential to detect a trend because you need to understand the following issues:
    • Whether your business is affected by seasonality. For instance, the B2B SaaS industry normally experiences a recession close to the middle of July, and enters a ramp-up mode at the beginning of September. But without having YOY comparison at hand, you can't say whether it’s a trend or not. Besides that, seasonality should also be taken into serious consideration if you’re planning to grow your conversions.
    • Trends will help you identify which channels have performed better. Sometimes you can see that an overall sessions’ trend in Google Analytics is rising on a monthly basis, but it could be due to paid channels boosting your traffic flow. In this case, something could be wrong with organic traffic. Analyzing trends allows you to see how various digital marketing channels differ from one another, what tactics you need to bear in mind, and what specific aspects to focus on.

Are you looking to increase your bottom line? Willing to pump up your sales? Rome wasn’t built in a day. Think of a smaller goal that can be expanded upon rather than being apologetic at the end of the quarter. But don’t get too comfortable. Goals must challenge you. That’s how great things happen!

And whenever you're measuring your business goals, money is the most accurate indicator. The more, the merrier. What’s the point of all the hard work you put in if it doesn’t maximize the bang for your buck?

Tracking your internal progress

Previously, I mentioned that we get bombarded by all kinds of digital marketing data flowing from various channels or tools. This data will remain fruitless unless it correlates with your business goals, but this is where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) become highly relevant. A KPI is a measurement that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving its key business objectives.

If you lock down the right KPIs to track, you’ll insure yourself against making uneducated marketing decisions. Each company has unique needs. So when faced with choosing your KPIs, obviously you should go for those that will assist you in reaching your business goals, not obstruct you.

Here I’d like to accentuate those KPIs that don't assist you in accomplishing your business goals.

Based on my past experiences, here’s what I’ve come to realize:

  1. In event marketing, it's a common practice to use the number of leads gathered during an event as an indicator of success: the more, the merrier. The problem, however, is that this metric doesn't really speak for the sales activity. You try to score as many leads as you can, desperately scan each and every badge, including those folks at the booth nearby, so that you can impress your boss with a big number. In the end, you may have a lot of leads, but most of them are going to be useless. What’s the point in having heaps of leads if your dominant KPI is sales? You could have had only two successful sales meetings but still reach your quota.
  2. Another metric that I think email marketers shouldn’t sweat at all is keeping your unsubscribe rate as low as it could possibly be.

    It makes no sense if what you’re after here is sales. No doubt, you should keep an eye on your unsubscribe rate, but it's not a key metric here. Users who have unsubscribed aren't interested in your services, so get over those clients and focus on the ones who are interacting with your messages. Try to increase the amount of these users. You need less people that have accidentally subscribed to your list, and more people that will open, click, and then purchase. Simple as that!

Let’s say you want to set goals for your SEO strategy. The business goal here would be to increase your revenue streams from organic traffic. You also need to define an exact number to aim for in both the short and long term. However, in order to implement these tactics, you need to consider internal processes like:

  • Site visibility (rankings, content, backlinks)
  • On-page user behavior (bounce/exit rates, usability, session duration)
  • Technical considerations (site speed, redirects, accessibility, site structure)

These groups are generic and will almost surely be different for every site out there, depending on which processes you focus on the most. The good thing is, once determined accurately, these internal metrics should help you understand whether your business goals are attainable early in the development stage.

The power of experimentation

When it comes to any business process, you should be open to experimentation. Data can give us clues about users’ past behavior, not about how they will respond to daring future changes — that is, if your process and your number of users allows for it. There’s no point in such a trivial exercise as an A/B test if you only have 100 users on a daily basis. Luckily there are plenty of other things that you can work on, such as operating within channels that allow you to see results in a short-term perspective. And where SEO is concerned, that definitely includes analyzing traffic, so that you can see whether getting a link from a particular site was worth the trouble.

According to Jim Manzi, founder of Applied Predictive Technologies, and Stefan Thomke, a Harvard Business School professor, the process of experimentation is easier said than done, owing to a myriad of organizational and technical challenges.

The authors of the article conclude that companies need to ask themselves several crucial, yet painfully obvious questions: Does the experiment have a clear purpose? Is the experiment doable? How can we ensure reliable results? Have we gotten the most value out of the experiment?

Take a moment and think if you can answer any of these.

Plan, act, measure, improve

I see digital marketing as a combination of facts and judgement. There’s no one analytic approach that can ultimately tell you you’re on the right track, give you a pat on the back, and say, “Great job, pal! Way to go!” That’s why I feel like the atmosphere within the digital marketing industry is filled with hesitation, uncertainty, and doubt.

Some marketers think that the answer to sharpening their judgement in this perpetually changing environment is data (you don’t say!), and some companies are gearing up with intricate analytical tools.

Yet, it’s next to impossible to integrate all of this information and make it serve answers that you can trust unconditionally. We get stoked by the prospects that “big data” and advanced analytics create — no doubt about that. But data continues to be only as valuable as the expertise you’ve nurtured, and good judgment will continue to be a hallmark of the best marketers.

However, if you create a process for planning, acting, measuring, and improving right off the bat, then you’ll be able to fully accomplish your business goals.

But before you try to make it happen, I want you to consider the following:

1. Your processes should be measurable (otherwise, there’s no room for improvement).

If you want to analyze the performance of your “Buy Now” button, then you need to make sure that you have everything to do that. I prefer to work with Google Tag Manager because it allows you to add new goals and see a user’s activity without bugging your developer to update scripts and things like that. It gives you the freedom to act, and that’s exactly what you need.

Note: Don’t forget to personally verify that all triggers are working properly and that you have all stats registered in your system.

Here’s a couple of great resource to help you understand and master Google Tag Manager:

2. You're very likely to fail at your first attempt at choosing the right metrics (which is a part of the process; no one is insured against that).

You live, you learn — whether you’re the last one to know about the latest trend, or you’re too busy struggling to get this one thing right. Whichever your case, I feel your pain and I can assure you it’s absolutely normal.

Here’s my example: For a while, I considered the number of registered users to be the main metric for my own online event (and I still rely on this metric). However, I’ve learned that I can’t fully rely on this metric since the number of subscribers doesn’t really affect the number of actual live listeners. Recorded videos aren’t very popular among my audience, either; I suspect the reason for that is because my users want to consume content right when they're becoming my subscribed users. And because it’s free of charge, there’s not enough incentive to come back for more. Human psychology is indeed an intricate thing.

3. Either your approach needs a slight adjustment, or it has to be replaced with a completely different tactic.

I think the best example here is a social media arena where experts have their sleeves rolled up, tweeting their day away, too busy to slow down and... analyze. There, I said it! You can go ahead and hate me now.

But that’s the reality. Some well-known companies publish works that say we need to post more, especially on Twitter, if we want to increase clicks, retweets, or shares. However, if you apply a little bit of common sense and dare to doubt such research, you’ll see that there’s no correlation between the number of posts and the level of engagement or number of clicks.

With that being said, the best approach here is to concentrate on conversions, rather than impressions — a metric that can be helpful when trying to increase brand awareness, but doesn’t generate clicks or retweets. The more time you spend improving conversions, the better results you’ll have in the end.

Take a look at SocialBakers’ report, which investigates the matter of tweeting frequency:


In order to shed some light on an everlasting problem, SocialBakers compared the Total Engagement Rate with the Average Engagement Rate of over 11,000 tweets between May 25th and June 25th back in 2013.

One of their major findings: you must figure out how to balance things and avoid “extremes,” and that three tweets a day will keep the decline of your engagement rate away.

Putting theory into practice

Moving on, I’d like to present you with some statistics from the Digital Olympus Twitter account:




Tweets Per Day




Avg Impressions Per Day




Engagement Rate
















As you can see, in January we were able to improve our retweet/like and click activity. We experimented with different tactics. Our final goal was to get as many clicks as possible and a satisfying engagement rate. Back in December 2016, we were tweeting much more than we normally did, and it never affected our click rate. In January we decided to take it easy and started tweeting less, which was, in turn, more cost-effective. As you can see, the results were pretty good.

However, we did lose some traffic, which means we need to generate more than 4.6 tweets per day.

And as I’ve already mentioned, currently my main business metric is our number of subscribers, which has decreased slightly lately.

The graph above also tells me that even with fewer tweets, we're still able to attract the right type of audience and to convert our registrants (in our case, the conversion is registration).


Metrics aren’t always perfectly revealing. Nevertheless, the volume of data accessible nowadays should make analytics doable. In this article I offered you insight into my way of defining business goals, managing internal processes, and dealing with such prosaic activities as measuring, which should never be underestimated. Provide yourself with everything you might possibly need to measure accurately, and don’t be afraid to fail. It’s all part of the process, believe me.

We’ve learned that setting your business goals requires some legwork, like collecting historical data and researching current industry trends. And once you're certain about your KPIs, you should always keep them on your radar because they demonstrate how fruitful your efforts are on the way to accomplishing your business objectives.

Never stop experimenting with your business ideas, set goals that will challenge you and your team, and don’t go overboard with dubious practices. In this case, less is more.

Now, off to reaching new heights, guys!

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Review: Fitbit’s Alta HR is tiny and powerful, but you should probably just get a Charge 2

Fitbit updated the Alta a few weeks ago with a heart rate sensor, creating what it called the slimmest wrist-worn tracker of its kind. I’ve had the chance to play with the Alta HR for about a week, and yeah, it’s tiny. So much so that you wouldn’t look totally awkward wearing the Alta on one wrist and a traditional wristwatch on the other. Using it has been an overall pleasant experience. That it has a week of battery life is an impressive bit of engineering. In my testing, heart rate, steps, and sleep tracking were pretty much identical to the…

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This fintech startup uses machine learning to give international students credit cards

America has some of the best universities in the world. Internationally respected institutions like MIT, Harvard and Stanford attract countless young people from every corner of the globe. Unlike American students, those from abroad often struggle to access financial services. While they’ll probably manage to open a bank account, they’ll likely struggle to get a credit card. SelfScore is an innovative fintech startup with an goal to change that. Where the traditional incumbents fail, it uses machine learning to determine the creditworthiness of these new (and temporary) arrivals, in order to offer them a credit card they can afford. There are over…

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Uber’s first diversity report is an important step to fixing its lackluster reputation

Amid numerous scandals — including but not limited to prostitution, sexism, and some shady software use — Uber has made a bid for transparency by releasing its first diversity report. To sum up, 15-percent of Uber’s technical workers — and 36-percent of its workers overall — are women, including 22-percent of its leadership. That’s certainly not a terrible percentage overall. You can almost hear Uber pleading for mercy in its report, because it goes on to say that 41-percent of new hires last year were women. It probably won’t cut ice with Uber’s legion of critics, especially those lobbying against the company’s perceived misogyny.…

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