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Each year, me and 14,000 of my closest friends descend upon the Boston convention center to get our annual digital marketing tune-up. The Inbound 17 conference is a great learning environment for virtually every element of marketing online. "Inbound" is not just for Marketing. This will be the second year that Inbound Sales will have a full schedule of events for sales teams and managers to learn how to engage prospects in a world where prospects have control of the buying cycle.
Since Bristol Strategy is a tiered Hubspot partner, we also gain access to Partner Day on Monday before the conference. Partner Day is about immersion into the latest Hubspot product updates and best practices. I have gained the privilege of getting a sneak peak into some of the updates over the past several weeks. The product upgrades are exciting and touch every element of the Hubspot Growth Stack. I will not spoil the launch by sharing them here, but will tweet about them during the conference once they are announced. Follow me - @dorecchio - on Twitter to gain immediate updates. I expect most of the product announcements to occur during the keynote by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah on Tuesday afternoon.
Research Themes for The Inbound 17 Conference
There is no way any person can attend enough sessions to cover every element of Inbound Marketing. There is just too much material. To tame this challenge, I decided to focus on several important themes to ensure I have to tools to improve the marketing and sales results for my clients.
I decided to invest my time into several sessions on Email Marketing, Facebook (Video and Advertising), Video Marketing, Sales Enablement and SEO. Please don't laugh and say - "5 themes is not how you focus," - there are so many more topics available this list is indeed a relatively short one. In case you are interested, here is a list of Inbound 17 conference recommended agendas.
Email for marketing and sales has become so important these days and doing it effectively has also become much more difficult. Most people purge their inbox daily from their mobile devices in the morning, so most emails don't even see the whites of their eyes!
The Inbound Sales methodology emphasizes the seller must deliver value to the recipient with each touch attempt, be it email, phone or social. One session I will attend is about creating the minimal viable email sequences for sales outreach.
Another session by my fellow Hubspot partner, Jeff Coon titled "How to close more leads using science-based emails and sales pages" is sure to sharpen the saw. Jeff has shown me one of his examples. They are awesome! Hint: they deliver a lot of value for the recipient while adhering to the buyer's journey for information and using multi-media including video.
Hubspot has a session titled "Rethinking Email: It's Not Dead, But it is Different." They send out a lot of email and as any Inbound Marketing company would, they study the analytics closely. Their key takeaways should be really insightful.
Facebook Advertising and the use of Video
Mari Smith is one of my favorite speakers will not at Inbound 17 and I will miss her Facebook overview sessions. I follow her on Facebook and subscribe to her emails to keep up with the changes to the platform. Please consider doing the same if Facebook is an important platform for your business.
There are many other sessions about how to use Facebook to help your business grow. One titled "Making it Rain with Facebook Video" by Phil Nottingham, Video Strategist at Wistia should offer new ideas beyond what we are already doing.
Last year, Mari guided her audience to look into Facebook Lead Ads. They keep the conversion of a request on the Facebook platform and this enhances conversion rates. Last year Hubspot integrated Lead Ads into its platform so the conversion data also flowed into Hubspot for users who own the Ads Add-On. Stay tuned for product news on this capability this week.
Video has been a very important element of every new modern website design we do because it engages visitors in a different and more dynamic way than text alone can do. So long as the application of video SEO is done properly, then the site power that text has from an SEO perspective. The point is to engage your audience and gain search rank so your content is found.
Not every video delivers value. I am sure you have seen many amateurish animation videos on websites and asked yourself, who would share that and what value does it bring? When we think about Inbound Marketing content we always apply the Buyer's Journey to the content and ensure any particular element does not cross journey boundaries so it has the maximum impact on the audience. One session I am excited about is titled " Top 10 Types of Video for Every Stage of the Buyer's Journey." I am seeking to gain ideas and ways to deliver value from video.
Sales Enablement & Inbound Sales
The sales topics are plentiful. The topics describe solutions to the problems sales teams experience as described in the recent research report titled "Buyer's Speak Out: How Sales Must Evolve In The Digital Age." The specific subset of topics I plan to attend include:
- How to Build Value for the Sales Team
- The Minimum Viable Email Sequences
- The 5 Transformations Required to Make Inbound Sales Successful
- Stay on Target: Personalized Account-Based Marketing and Selling
We have been providing Inbound Sales enablement services for a few years now. We understand where our clients struggle and these sessions will help us improve our approach while offering new ideas.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The reason why SEO is always in the list is because it is an area that is constantly changing with each and every update to the google search algorithms. In the world of SEO, I can say that I have a "Man Crush" on Rand Fishkin! Not in the traditional sense of a man crush, but in the way he is such an expert about SEO that I learn something new with each episode of the MOZ Whiteboard Friday. I recommend every business owner and marketer subscribe to his videos.
Rand has a session at each and every Inbound conference and they always fill up with hundreds of attendees. He is thoughtful, detailed and entertaining. I am looking forward to his session titled "The Invisible Giant that Mucks Up Our Marketing." An additional session about SEO titled "Here is Why You Don't Rank on Google" by Matthew Barby at Hubspot will complete my SEO set of sessions.
The Keynotes Are The Icing On The Top
Beyond the Hubspot keynote by Brian and Dharmesh, I am looking forward to the session by Brene' Brown, Michelle Obama, content queen Piera Gelardi, Ed Catmull - the founder of Pixar Animation and John Cena - the WWE star - Marketing Icon and Actor.
In the End - Inbound 17 Will Be a Valuable Investment in Time
If I get anywhere near the value from Inbound 17 as I did with Inbound 16, 15 an 14 then this should be a great week! Keep a watch out for my tweets and I will be sure to write up a detailed summary of the conference and the elements that have influenced me the most. In the meantime, if you have not read the 2017 state of Inbound report then you can download it here. If you have topics you would like me to research for you at Inbound 17, please insert them into the comments for this blog article.
Bristol Strategy is a full funnel inbound marketing agency and inbound sales agency offering the full complement of Inbound Marketing services that enable our clients to surpass their business objectives by transforming the way they engage with their buyer on-line. Reach out to us to learn more about how our experience and capabilities can help your business grow.Image 2 Copyright: 123RF Stock Photo, Moz Image Copyright MOZ