Life Lessons From Inbound 12
This content is coming to you live from Boston, Massachusetts, where our entire team of special agents is attending the Inbound Marketing Conference. We've had an action-packed two days of learning cutting edge-technique from the experts and networking with some real braniacs. To the right is an image of our team with the HootSuite mascot, Owli. Too often, I've read conference content that just comes across as clannish and filled with inside jokes. We're committed to actionable information, and here are the top lessons we learned today at Inbound 12:
1. You've Got to Operate in Real-Time
The opening keynote was given by David Meerman Scott, who stated that too many marketers focus on operating in "campaign mode," writing content at least a month in advance. While you can never underestimate that value of a decent "insurance policy" of a week or more of extra blog articles, writing the here and now matters, too. Remember that Australian news company that generated almost 5,000 news articles when they offered President Obama a free insurance policy in case he was eaten by a crocodile back in November 2011? Blogs are essentially a real-time tool for communicating with your leads, and fresh content matters.
2. Free Your Content
Scott delivered most of his music analogies and he referenced the Greatful Dead, a band who he said was an early pioneer of Inbound Marketing. While the analogy is a bit of a stretch, the fact is that really awesome content that doesn't cost is a critical component of your Inbound Marketing Strategy. Scott challenged marketers to really think about what kinds of content - infographics, eBooks or white papers - we could distribute and give away for free. No sneak peeks just yet, but you can be sure we've taken his advice and have some pretty awesome things coming down the pipeline.
3. Use Awesome Language
The best content on the web is genuinely original and full of value for your clients and contacts. Scott asserted that too often, overused words are just another part of mediocre content, stating "nothing hurts your credibility worse than bad or generic language." Words like innovative have ceased to have any real meaning. Cliches have long been a bane of professional writers, and it's become increasingly important to sell your content to readers using original terminology. When it comes to your blogs, social media, press releases and eBooks, take the time - or trip to thesaurus.com - to use words that are both fresh and not overdone.
4. Define Your Process
One of my favorite seminars today was given by David Carpenter of Connection Model. Sometimes the best information is perfectly applicable and translates well. Carpenter begged marketers to take the time to define their process. Creating a defined and repeatable process for your campaigns, whether it's social media distribution, writing blog content or lead nurturing won't only save a ton of time and cash, it's going to create the most consistent results.
5. Um, ROI Please?
I can objectively say that our IMA President, Bill Faeth's talk on How to Dominate a Vertical was a huge hit. One of the statements that caught the best reaction was his call to remember the return on investment (ROI) of your campaigns and strategy. Inbound Marketing is an open culture of sharing with clients - sharing links on social media, sharing actionable and original blog content, but ROI is still King. If you're not seeing results, something needs to be tweaked. At the end of the day, you've got to track your ROI and act accordingly.
If you're just tuning in, join us here to learn a little more about the world's biggest gathering of Inbound Marketers, Hubspot's Inbound 12.