Summer is coming to an end, which means one thing at Sprout: 2018 planning. The remainder of this year will be spent examining our wins, analyzing our opportunities and adjusting our efforts as we transition into the new year.

That’s why this past month’s must-read articles focus on tweaking the quantifiable measurement of our content efforts, what it means to pivot and how to challenge the junior members of the team to build their leadership skills.

How to Measure Content Marketing ROI: A Simple 4 Step Process

In this how-to, Bill Widmer and Andy Crestodina, founder of Orbit Media Studios, work to solve the marketing woe that plagues all of us–quantifying the impact of content. The pair start by defining ROI and working backwards from there. The main takeaway? Basically, we’ve all been measuring content wrong because, “measuring content ROI is really as simple as knowing your conversion rate.”

Pivoting as a Company and How To Make It Work

As we work to solidify our plans for next year, it’s important that we focus on what aspects of our company will remain the same and which will shift. This Q&A between CEO of SyndicateRoom, Goncalo de Vasconcelos, and Adam Cleevy, CEO of Cambridge Nutraceuticals, explores the business risks and rewards of stepping in a new direction.

Here’s How to Build a New Career as a Thought Leader

In the B2B world the term “thought leader” gets thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean? And how do you become a thought leader–or at least position yourself as one? Financial expert Amanda Abella provides a quick overview and some accompanying tips that work to demystify the secret world of thought leaders. Know your audience.

Hashtags’ Boom in TV Commercials Is Over

CPG companies approach social as an advertising channel. And part of that advertising strategy includes employing branded hashtags in TV spots and print ads. Until recently, using a branded hashtag as a call-to-action in a traditional ad was common practice. CPGs are directing consumers to their owned digital properties vs. social. According to estimates from iSpot.tv, monthly spend for national ads that included .com, .net or .org extensions was roughly $1.66 billion in 2014. This number has since increased to $3 billion as of January 2017.

Small Talk Is an Overrated Way to Build Relationships With Your Employees

Since January, Sprout’s employee base has grown by 51.6%. While this is exciting, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t come with its challenges. With new people joining the team on a weekly basis, it can be harder to build meaningful workplace relationships. This piece from the Harvard Business Review offers some tactical takeaways and good reminders for connecting with an evolving team.

What Road-Tripping Across America to Meet Customers Taught Me About Being a Better Leader

I’ve been in a leadership position for over a decade but that doesn’t mean I can’t continue to hone my skills. I believe that everyone on my team can learn a lot from the customers we serve. Josh Reeves’ reflection of his 11 city, 4,000-mile road trip was a reminder that some of our most valuable professional development opportunities are outside of the day-to-day comforts of the office.