About a month and a half ago I had the privilege of attending Hubspot’s marketing conference, INBOUND. Hubspot is a marketing automation software company that’s rocking their industry. Every year they host a conference which I can only describe as one-part learning conference and one-part rock show. Squeezed between the break-out track sessions are keynote presentations designed to inspire and motivate. In the evenings are social hours, headline shows and a dance party.
I’ve been fortunate enough to attend this event three times. Every year I learn more than a few new things. I’ve sifted through my notes and photos to share with you my takeaways from the conference.
Facebook Is Alive and Well
“Did Hubspot receive some sort of funding from Facebook?” I joked to my colleague with whom I attended the INBOUND show. It seemed that each keynote or learning session mentioned using Facebook for advertising this year. Facebook has been busy launching new products within its social media platform including Facebook Live!, Facebook Ads and new collaboration software called Workplace which is designed to compete with Slack.
Facebook Ads took center stage positioned to help businesses extend their reach. You can boost a piece of content or video and increase leads through targeting. You can target specific genders, ages and interests so that your post reaches the right audience. You can even drill down to locations if you’re a local business. Your budget determines your reach. And Facebook Insights provides reporting for monitoring performance and results once an ad is deployed. So it’s Facebook Ad for the win.
It’s Important to Tell a Story
Telling your company’s story is becoming as important as marketing your company and product or service. Your story is becoming greater than what you sell. People on social media are trying to block out noise and find what’s important to them. Their brains are on auto-pilot and will scroll right past things they have seen time and again. We marketers need to provide a reason for people to stop scrolling with messages that resonate. People are motivated by feeling. We need to identify with people and not merely statistics.
Be authentic and find an angle that your audience can connect to. Talk about a problem that leads to the solution. And don’t forget to tell your story. Take the reader on a journey.
This was a new term for me. I’ve heard content repurposing or recycling. With upcycling content becomes bigger than the sum of its parts. Upcycling content is taking something that’s old and creating something new that’s equally as valuable. One key takeaway is that recycling delays trash whereas upcycling prevents trash.
Upcycling content can reach a new audience with a new format on a new platform. The focus is on creating and extending reach and visibility without being disruptive. Upcycling takes your audience’s learning style into consideration. Example: Take key points of a blog post and turn it into a video for those that prefer to consume content visually. And we’ve just upcycled.
Google in 2017
It will be important to optimize for Google in 2017 so that your site answers a question or uses video. Nearly half (49%) of searches bring up Google properties of some kind, whether it’s an Ad, Maps, or YouTube. And 40% of searches result in a no-click because results returned are sports scores or the weather answering the question at hand. Google knows where the search path begins, where the user is going next and where their journey ends.
Start at your website. Use it to push out media and content. Place videos on your website using a program like Wistia. Share links on social media bringing viewers back to your website. Wait to upload it to YouTube for a few months.
Nearly 50% of organic searches are answering a question. Evolve your keyword targeting by knowing what your users are asking. Have your website act as a repository for answers. Make it a place people want to go to find information.
The Buying Process has Changed
Just 10 years ago we had only 4-5 choices per product in any given store. That has nearly tripled and nowadays we have upwards of 14-15 choices per product in any given store. Supply is up which means costs are down and barriers to entry are low. Couple that with flat demand and competition has skyrocketed.
How Are Buyers Learning?
We read all day in 2006. Scrolling through Google, reading blogs and reviews. Now we’re watching videos and monitoring social media. How many of you referred to YouTube to learn something new or watch a product review? Our attention is being spread out among multiple screens and mediums. We’re consuming multiple content types at the same time.
Social media is now Starbucks. It’s where people are hanging out. If you’re not marketing on social media you might as well be marketing in a trashcan.
How Do Buyers Find You?
We looked for suggestions in 2006. Now we’re finding the answers through search. Google AdWords now takes 100% of screen above fold.
What’s in a Website?
People want your website to be Personalized, Automated, Self-Service and End-to-End.
Consider these four things when it comes to the buying process in your marketing:
- Half of content developed should be video
- Live in social – B2H(uman) marketers
- Accelerate content – Combine content and paid marketing
- Automate buying – Humans want a self-service experience
Hubspot’s INBOUND conference provided a ton of useful information from all ends of the business spectrum. This conference is highly recommended whether you’re a Hubspot user or not. The consumer is always evolving. It’s important to keep up with the latest trends and ways to build business.