If you’ve been following our blog or any of our social media accounts, you’ve no doubt heard us talking about Inbound Marketing Bootcamp for the past few months. Inspired by HubSpot’s annual Inbound conference, we decided to host a (slightly smaller) version of our own to encourage accelerated business growth with inbound marketing in our own region.
Inbound Marketing Bootcamp featured 8 incredible, high-energy speakers who are each thought leaders of inbound marketing in their own unique ways. Our speakers covered 5 full sessions, 6 breakout sessions and a Q&A panel, leaving our attendees with countless notes, ideas and action items to bring back to their businesses right away.
In case you missed it, here are 10 of the biggest takeaways from Inbound Marketing Bootcamp:
1. Nobody wakes up thinking “I really want to see an ad today.” Ellie Mirman, Inbound Marketing Funnel Manager at HubSpot, kicked off Bootcamp with an inspiring thought. It’s true, we don’t wake up wanting to see ads – yet many marketers still wake up and say, “Let’s make an ad.” The way we live has changed, with 80% of business decision-makers preferring to get company information in a series of articles rather than an advertisement. Inbound marketing is a revolution; it’s a holistic, data-driven approach to marketing that attracts individuals to your company and converts them into lasting customers.
2. You can’t beat the ROI of inbound marketing. Greg Linnemanstons, President at Weidert Group, really got the group thinking with his presentation that assessed the value of inbound marketing. Since inbound is all about creating content that speaks to your unique buyer personas, it naturally attracts more qualified leads, giving you a better opportunity to nurture them into closing. Think about it…what’s the value of a sales qualified lead worth to you? Wouldn’t you rather have more of those qualified leads? Inbound marketing can help you get them.
3. Inbound marketing isn’t just for fast-paced, creative companies. Tim McAdow, Director of Communications at Integrity Insurance, presented a case study of how inbound has been implemented and has been working for Integrity Insurance, a very conservative culture by nature. Being able to attract leads versus driving customers, having information on leads before the sale and creating content marketing that pleases customers were all characteristics of inbound that Integrity Insurance has been benefitting from – and any other conservative culture can benefit from, too!
4. There’s no reason you can’t create compelling content (even if you’re in a boring industry). Our mystery speaker shared with the audience his insights on how building a brand (as a company and as an individual) contributes to creating your own competitive advantage. Wondering what’s the best way to create content when your customers perceive your industry as boring? Demonstrate your knowledge and give away enough (without giving away everything).
5. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Create the content that will be attractive to your viewers – even if it isn’t “sexy” to the general public. Jeff Coon, Creative Director and Partner at Stream Creative, made a great point by comparing a minivan to a Mini Cooper. While most people find the Mini Cooper more attractive, Jeff (with a wife and three children) is at a point in his life where the minivan is more attractive. It isn’t fair to compare your company to what Apple or Google is doing; compare your company to others in your industry for the best benchmarking.
6. LinkedIn should be used for more than just recruiting employees. It’s actually a powerful business tool that should be used for growing your business by creating a customer-focused profile, connecting with your prospects, categorizing your connections, communicating with your network and capitalizing on existing relationships. Wayne Breitbarth, LinkedIn expert and founder of Power Formula, proved that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be leveraging the power of LinkedIn.
7. If you build it (great content), they (search results) will come. Frank Isca, Senior Consultant at Weidert Group, shared some tips about how inbound marketing is the new search engine optimization (SEO). Since the driving force behind modern SEO is quality content, it’s clear that inbound marketing’s focus on original content (tailored for your specific customer type) is a winning formula.
8. You can become a better marketer by understanding neurology. Luke Summerfield, Director of Inbound Marketing at Savvy Panda, gave a fascinating presentation on how to leverage brain-based chemicals to encourage buyer behavior. You can help attract and convert your target buyers by understanding the chemicals in their brains that make them think, form habits and react to certain things. Understanding the background of your buyers’ behaviors will undoubtedly help you influence thought, change perception and ultimately convert more leads into customers.
9. Scoring your leads will make selling easier. Greg Linnemanstons shared a shocking statistic with his breakout session: companies that do lead scoring right have a 192% higher lead qualification rate than companies that don’t. An inbound marketing approach and the enabling technologies that make it possible can represent enormous business development advantages for inbound marketers. You can use technology and the powers of behavioral observation to improve your closing performance and make big steps toward closing more effective (and enjoyable) for both the buyer and the seller.
10. Nurturing leads is pivotal for effective marketing. Inbound nurturing offers an array of benefits, including being able to establish contact immediately, building thought leadership, finding cross-sell and up-sell opportunities and encouraging new lead generation, to name a few. Email is the #1 nurturing technique, but don’t forget to nurture beyond the inbox. Leverage your data by utilizing social media and other outreach channels.
Inbound Marketing Bootcamp was an energizing day filled to the brim with information, advice and direction. If you weren’t able to join us for this year’s Bootcamp, don’t worry…we’ll save a seat for you at Inbound Marketing Bootcamp 2015!