My first Inbound marketing conference is a wrap!
It was a whirlwind of sessions and networking that sparked amazing learning and discussions. Over 24,000 people were in attendance at this remarkable event. I had a packed agenda filled with networking events and sessions. It was inspiring, fast paced and motivating.
Let's get started with insight #1.
1. Video is impactful
Video is critical to any marketing strategy. It aids consumers in the buying process, boosts organic search traffic and increases the understanding of your product/service thru an interactive and personal experience. I didn’t have the opportunity to squeeze in a session regarding video however my colleague did. You can read her very insightful post that sums up its importance: The #1 thing I learned from Inbound19
Almost every presentation I attended incorporated video. Snippets or clips that served as an ice breaker to garner audience attention and set the tone of the entire session.
Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text. (Insivia)
Video is an effective tool for your overall digital marketing strategy. It can be an easier way to convey complex ideas in a highly creative format that is universally understood.
2. Storytelling / Authenticity is meaningful
I noticed each one of my sessions at Inbound 19 had a story. They weren’t case studies, self-promotion or client wins… they were personal stories about the presenters struggles, perspective or spark. Each of these stories then tied into the larger session topic and helped the audience dive deeper in its application. I didn’t recognize this pattern until I was back from the conference. I was out with my colleagues for lunch and I began sharing information about the sessions I attended. I began each of my discussions by re-telling the stories that amused or connected with me first. Those stories were essentially going viral thru my retelling albeit on a smaller scale.
One of the more memorable stories was by Sangram Vajre who's session on How to Take Your Marketing from Good to Great focused on ABM (Account Based Marketing). It was a fresh perspective and he was able to engage the audience from the very beginning with a story about his son. He was caring for his son while his wife went out of town and decided to take this role from good to GREAT:
- Average Parenting - the status quo where they get by on TV, food and playtime
- Good Parenting - picks it up a notch to Dad 1.0 where they play Xbox, watch movies and eat healthier snacks
- Great Parenting - Dad 2.0 that lets his son watch ALL the Rocky movies and eat pancakes for ALL meals
He then dove deeper by discussing how to connect this parenting concept to how we work with our clients and focus our efforts step by step on creating GREAT marketing solutions.
Integrating super-personalized marketing into your strategy is a way for your business to say, ‘i’m listening. i know what you want… what you need… what you enjoy.’ The more your business shows this to a customer or prospect, the more likely they will be to connect with you and become a promoter of your business.” — Jess Marranco, Hubspot
The key takeaways from these sessions regarding storytelling and authenticity:
- It should be entertaining
- The story should be memorable
- Something the audience can relate to
- Contains nuggets of knowledge or awaken curiosity
Focus on authentic long-term relationships thru a shared connection or idea.
3. Marketing Automation is essential
Automating our workflows and marketing tasks with seamless and timely touch points frees up time to focus on the customer experience and strategic solutions. When done correctly, it will accurately provide the right information to the right person at the right time. It can help reduce manual entry and keep your data and records accurate. This is important for:
- Your sales team by having the confidence to act on accurate information
- You marketing team by contacting and communicating with right people at the right time thru email drip campaigns and workflows
- And management by increasing leads, deals and therefore revenue
There are no limits to what you can automate thru proper planning. It will empower your sales team and streamline your overall processes which is a successful combination for all teams to thrive.
The marketing automation tech stack can include:
- CMS (Content management system) or website
- Email marketing software
- Landing page and form builder
- Campaign tool
- Social media publishing tool
- CRM (Customer relationship management)
- Analytics tools
Marketing automation helps to scale growth and reduce time on repetitive manual tasks.
4. Email Marketing is alive
Over the years I am sure you have heard that email marketing is dead. It would appear that number of emails that reach an already cluttered inbox are usually never opened, are deleted or marked as spam. However did you know:
Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social" - Campaign Monitor
I attended a fascinating session showcasing how to build a list of engaged subscribers thru A/B testing, welcome emails, personalization and focused relevant content. The main question to ask is: Why Should Anyone Care? The main point many marketers and business owners miss with email marketing is if you are providing value thru the content in your newsletters and segmenting your lists based on answering the main question then your email newsletters WILL be impactful.
Refine your email marketing strategy and focus on answering the main question: Why Should Anyone Care?
5. Accessibility is for everyone
We recently launched a new ADA Compliant service at WSI Connect so I was excited to attend the session called: Accessible Marketing Is Modern Marketing: Building Accessibility In Instead of Opting Out by Christi Olson from Microsoft. She specifically focused on Inclusive Design principles and how to apply them across digital media.
If you aren’t building accessibility into your products, website, or marketing campaigns, it’s like saying to one in five customers, “I don’t want your business.”"
Christi took a deep dive into understanding how implementing this across your customers experiences. Below is a high level overview of the top 10 areas to focus on:
- Content Writing and Structure
- URL and link text and descriptions
- Text readability
- Accessible fonts
- Images and video
- Color contrast and shapes
- Keyboard navigation
- Contact information
- Call to action buttons
- Event space and registration
Focusing on accessibility and inclusive design as part of your overall strategy and design instead of an afterthought.