3 Takeaways from HubSpot Inbound 2013


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Last week I had the privilege of attending the HubSpot Inbound Conference in my hometown of Boston, MA. The conference was extremely well-run, and the line-up of presenters and keynote speakers was really quite inspiring. I also was able to connect with several interesting and motivated marketers to share best practices and ideas for developing engaging, long-lasting content that will attract prospects. While I learned so very much, in this post I want to share with you the top three takeaways that I took from the experience. For those who were there, I’m interested to see if you agree/disagree:

1. Stop being afraid to take risks. This one seemed to be a consistent theme throughout all of the presentations, and it is one that I personally identify with as a B2B marketer. In our world of intense regulation and perfectionism, a LOT of solid marketing collateral gets caught up in the approval process. In many cases this good content either takes forever to make it into the hands of the consumer, or worse, it never even sees the light of day. Many of the presenters spoke about getting over the fear of failure or being “less-than-perfect,” because having a variety of content and perspectives can be extremely valuable to your marketing efforts. In fact, according to HubSpot, “websites with 101-200 pages generate 2.5X as many leads as those with under 50 pages.” What that says to me is maintaining a consistent blog and content calendar should increase the amount of opportunities that you are generating, outside of any other marketing program that you execute. Of course, everything that you create should be put through an approval process, there is good reason for that. But don’t let it bottleneck your ability to create, because that won’t do you any good. In his keynote, analytics genius Nate Silver said about today’s academic publishing market, “It takes the average paper a year and a half to get published, with how quickly new information is learned, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.” Couldn’t agree more, Nate!

2. Content development is a more effective use of resources than online advertising. I know this may seem like a bold statement, and of course, I will concede that the people at this “Inbound Marketing” conference are more than a little biased, but the case for content was pretty compelling. For instance, according to Solve Media, “you are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad.” Sure it’s morbid, but it’s also a bold statement about the effectiveness of marketing spend on interruption tactics like online banners. Also, by focusing on developing a credible content engine, you will drive up your organic search placement, which as I learned, is more important to your overall search results than you would think. According to Group M Worldwide, 90% of buyers click on organic links vs. sponsored ads. Perhaps we all know that to a certain extent, but when you consider the cost associated with organic content vs. sponsored ads, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to pour money into search ads when your content isn’t in order.

3. Marketing inspiration can come from anywhere. Something unique about this conference was a new initiative they dubbed “Bold Talks.” Essentially taking a page out of the TED Talk book, HubSpot set up a bunch of sessions with exceptional marketers giving presentations that had nothing to do with marketing, but instead were about personal passions. Susan Piver gave a talk on mindful communication based on her Buddhist faith, Julien Smith spoke about the importance of being first instead of best, and Amber Naslund shared her journey of adopting a pitbull all the way from across the country. These are only a few that I was able to attend, there were many others. Interestingly, although none of the talks were focused specifically on marketing, a wealth of marketing and life lessons came from each “Bold Talk.” As it turns out, good marketing strategy is often the result of good life strategy.

There you have it, the three main takeaways that I have from my Inbound 2013 experience. Of course, I’m saving my encounter with Brooks from The Bachelorette for another post, so watch out for that soon. HubSpot has made many of the keynotes and presentations available on YouTube, here was my favorite one from Arianna Huffington:

Oh, and also, Charity:Water is doing some incredible stuff for people around the world, their integration with Inbound was tremendous. Check them out.

What do you use for marketing inspiration? How do you design your content strategy? I’m interested to know!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Bill Connolly
As Marketing Analyst for Quaero, Bill is responsible for sales and business development support and market research and analysis. Bill has completed projects for several industry-leading organizations, including Fidelity, National Grid, Cumberland Farms, Citigroup, HomeGoods and the New England Patriots and developed a brand campaign for NASA.


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