HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference, however, makes marketing a bit simpler. By gathering innovators, pioneers, and leaders across an array of specialties under one roof, HubSpot fosters an environment that inspires and sparks creative genius.
This year’s conference, held in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, featured presenters like Shonda Rhimes (the mind behind Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder), Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah (co-founders of HubSpot), and A-Rod (yes, A-Rod himself). More than 24,000 people from over 110 countries attended the four-day event in the hopes of becoming more marketing, branding, and media savvy.
Among the attendees were three members of the Calypso team. Each of our team members left INBOUND with new and innovative techniques that will allow you to breathe life, success, and sincerity into your brand.
Maggie, a digital marketing associate at Calypso, returned from INBOUND with a host of practices that will help you work smarter—instead of harder—to connect with your audience. Here are some of Maggie’s main takeaways.
Google Snippets and SEO: How a Tiny Piece of Content is Radicalizing the SEO Game
Adam Piotrowski, Head of SEO, Content & Social at Rentpath
What are featured snippets? A featured snippet, not to be confused with a carousel or graph box, is the search engine result that appears above the organic rankings and paid search results. This snippet draws content from within a webpage where credibility on that subject has been established. The content in the snipped directly answers the search query. This is an earned ranking based on your websites credibility with keywords relating to the search terms, not a paid search result.
Why should we care? Even if a webpage has earned its spot in the coveted top 5 results, the presence of a featured snippet will likely prevent the user from scrolling any further.
“While excelling at the basic rules of SEO can help any brand gain authority with Google, earning a snippet takes more than authority.”
Achieving 10X Growth by Optimizing Customer Marketing and Retention
Tara Robertson, Agency Lead at Sprout Social
Steps to reaching 10X sales focusing solely on retention.
- Digging into data: do your conversion research
- Qualitative insights: send out surveys, segment customers
- Connecting the data: connect the dots between all insights
- Minimum viable test: get some quick tests moving fast
- Long-term approach: learn, iterate, and improve
“If you have poor retention nothing else matters.”- Brian Balfour
How to Drive Lead Generation & Business Growth with Facebook AdsDouglas Weiss, Offline Lead and Team Manager, Product Partnership at Facebook
Seven best practices can ensure that you get the most out of your campaigns:
- Reach the right people for your business
- Qualify leads at every stage
- Ask the right questions, get the right leads
- Nurture your leads to unlock value
- Take action on your new customers in real-time
- Prioritize your follow ups
- Connect your offline data to your Facebook campaigns
Tiffany serves as Calypso’s PR coordinator, and her favorite experiences at INBOUND focused heavily on the importance of connection and collaboration. By making time for meaningful communication with your audience and industry peers, your brand can be improved from the inside out. Take a look at Tiffany’s key takeaways below.
How Sharing Your Authentic Self Can Supercharge Your Marketing
Kali Roberge, Founder of Creative Advisor
What DOESN’T work:
- Speaking generally or writing something that could be found in an encyclopedia.
- Writing something that lacks emotion, resonance, meaning—It doesn’t foster connection.
What DOES work:
- Telling stories. “The best businesses are the best stories.”
- Provide value. Be the signal in the noise; it shouldn’t be about conversion all of the time.
How to Get Media-Famous Without Even Trying
Janet Murray, speaker, podcaster, and author of Your Press Release is Breaking My Heart
To increase brand awareness, you should be doing these four important things regularly:
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Press (coverage in newspapers, television, radio, and magazines)
Journalists are interested in the parts of your business that intersect with your life—stories that provide a personal connection.
How You Can Speak Better Visually
David Hooker, Head of Evangelism and Creative Services at Prezi
- Your brain thinks in images, and you process images much faster than text. In fact, your brain is looking for images first.
- Humans have similar attention spans to goldfish.
- In 2018, the average millennial is expected to take 25,700 selfies. Therefore, the people we are marketing to want to see themselves in the center of a photo.
Carter is Calypso’s digital marketing coordinator. While the sessions he attended were primarily concerned with diversity, data, and the endless balancing act that is the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence (AI), his takeaways all pointed to one fundamental tenet: authenticity. A sincere brand voice opens the door for sincere interactions with your consumers.
Building Diversity and Inclusion into the DNA of Your BrandAndrea Flynn, Vice President of Global Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability, MAC Cosmetics
- Don’t be a poser. You shouldn’t say your business supports an issue, cause, or movement if it can’t back it up. Consumers pay attention to what you say, and if you’re not authentic in your support it rings false.
- Support for a cause starts with your employees. The purpose of a giving campaign flows from the bottom up.
- Not everyone is going to agree with you. Ask Nike.
- Let your advocates speak for you; don’t be the loudest voice showing your support. If you are true to your purpose and support, others will see and show up for you.
Using Data-Driven Insights to Deliver Personalized Experiences and Earn Customer Loyalty
Kevin Cochrane, Chief Marketing Officer, SAP Customer Experience
- For many years, marketers exclusively used data as a way to manipulate buyer decisions, which has worked to drive a wedge between customers and brands.
- Data should be used as a tool to better serve the customers’ needs, not to serve what the company wants customers to need.
- Use the data you collect to help emotionally connect with the customer, not manipulate behavior.
How to Ensure AI Doesn't Make Your Customers Hate You
Nick Worth, Author and CMO, Selligent Marketing Cloud
- AI is smart, but it’s not that smart. You can tell the difference between muffins and chihuahuas, but your AI can’t.
- While it may be very useful when fully running, AI takes time to learn what a successful outcome looks like. It requires a lot of trial and error and a large amount of human intervention before being able to function on its own.
- AI is best used when it is meant to replicate a 1:1 human interaction. If you have enough employees to handle personal interaction with all your customers, AI will not help. But if you need to scale your customer experience, AI will meet your time to benefit ratio needs.
The digital revolution has transformed the traditional practices of marketing by allowing brands to address audiences that were previously beyond their reach. By bridging the gaps created by age, distance, and socio-economic status, digital media has largely leveled the playing field between potential consumers and corporations. The danger, however, is that your brand is now under a microscope more than ever before—but never fear! Today’s most successful brands all have one thing in common, and it doesn’t cost a dime.
A sense of humanity can elevate your brand from a faceless corporation to a business whose core values are rooted in bettering the lives of people—not making a quick buck. If your brand’s business is conducted primarily online, invest your time and energy into fostering a personal relationship between yourself and your consumers. Be vulnerable with them. Tell them your story and the hurdles you’ve cleared. Be upfront when something doesn’t go well and let them celebrate your successes by their own volition. By doing so, you allow them to create a relationship with your company.
In a market where reviews and peer-to-peer recommendations carry more weight than ever before, let your brand show its heart. Instead of being the company that cons people into buying useless product in the pursuit of fast cash, be one that wants only the best for your consumers. Then, give it to them.