McMahon Marketing had the joy of sending some team members to Hubspot’s INBOUND Conference in Boston. And goodness, what an experience they had! We’ve collected pages of notes and could go on for days about the incredible seminars and discussions that took place.
If you'd like a full transcript of the adventure, we’d be happy to share. Though, we suspect most of you would settle for some cliff notes. We've spent some time identifying the most important and effective items and are sharing them with you here today.
Enjoy reading our key marketing takeaways and what we want businesses like you to know in regards to the ever-changing world of marketing.
As many of you already know, social media has become a game changer for businesses. It’s now the golden area of Facebook advertising. If you’re not playing in the game, you’re missing out. The key focus here is understanding and measuring your cost per lead — not just clicks.
Something that businesses often miss is the convert and nature portion of the sales funnel. Ensure that you’re building relationships with your prospects. A way you can do this on social media is through video. It’s a key medium that allows people to connect and engage real-time.
Purpose is everything. When you’re planning an email campaign, it’s important to always ask these three key questions:
- Why am I writing this?
- In what way(s) does this provide value to my readers?
- How will I measure the success of my message?
Customize and personalize. Can you believe emojis actually work? Don’t be afraid to use them — just as long as it aligns with your brand’s voice. This is where “test and measure” steals the show. Take advantage of A/B testing to learn new, more efficient tactics that work for your list specifically.
We all know customer service is king. But, creating relationships on a larger scale can be difficult. This is where automation workflows come in. They initiative that first step of communication, allowing you more time for strategy.
A great user experience begins with great design. It’s important to keep in mind that your website is not a brochure. The most successful sites are becoming more like apps — immersing customers in the brand. You’ll also find that websites are featuring their own versions of a “sales team” by incorporating interactive bots and chat apps.
Something that has to change and probably never will is content. Bad content kills conversion. It’s important to focus your efforts on genuine, high-value products and services. Keep in mind that action is driven, not forced.
Some visual trends we noticed were seamless navigation and powerful call-to-actions that don’t demand attention. The days of automatic sliders, stock photography, obnoxious forms and pop-ups are out. The goal is to reduction friction in your website whenever possible — guiding the user versus forcing them.
“You have to be something before you can be everything.” Your story is what amplifies your content strategy. Think of your brand as the product itself and stop trying to push 20 other things. Establish your niche services and own that.
Everyone claims they have “the best” customer service. But let’s think for a moment, what company can we attribute that to? The market is saturated with plenty of businesses who claim to be better — what makes a business successful is their ability to illustrate how and prove it.
Proper branding provides elasticity, culture, distribution and movement. In order to achieve this, it needs to satisfy these three dimensions:
- Need for mission
- Balance of exclusivity and inclusivity
- Need for truth
The key to great marketing and sales in industries across the board is mastering your niche. You need deep, practical knowledge that helps you create content with a narrowly defined audience in mind.
The pros at Inbound recommended building programs that develop self-mastery of a niche by creating content through blogs, ebooks and webinars. Then, transform that expertise into thought leadership through case studies, original research and even books.
If you’re having troubles defining your niche. Don’t worry, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Here are a few examples to help you get started:
- Who you work with (industry niche)
- What you do (service niche)
- How you do your work (methodology niche)
We hope you enjoyed our key takeaways from Inbound 2016. Whether you’re a reputable company or a business just starting out, successful marketing begins with a strong marketing strategy.
Eager to get started?
Click below to download our FREE inbound marketing checklist!