For the second consecutive year, I attended the HubSpot Inbound 2015 conference in Boston last month. So why inbound? As you know if you’ve been reading our blogs, at Simon Associates we have been talking about inbound marketing for the last two years. And as you can probably tell, we feel it is absolutely critical to the success of your marketing program. We have initiated inbound marketing with all of our clients, showing them how providing content is the best way to attract and nurture customers. And it’s working!
Inbound is very different from traditional outbound marketing and in particular, has real value for the middle market business, since it allows you to compete on an equal level with large companies with enormous marketing budgets. I believe Inbound is for everyone.
I say this because it successfully equips our clients, whether they are large-cap, mid-cap or small-cap, to compete in an ever-changing competitive word.
But perhaps I have put the cart before the horse.
What is inbound and why is it different than outbound?
In outbound marketing, you are just sending out a message through whatever media you think are appropriate, hoping that something you say stimulates the interest of your potential buyer. With inbound marketing, you produce content focused on what you believe the user is searching for, but not just any content — highly useful content that answers the searcher’s question or solves his/her problem. By providing meaningful and frequent content, you can engage the consumer by creating initial awareness and then nurturing him/her along the decision-making path.
The HubSpot conference: a finger on the pulse of what’s happening today and tomorrow
So if I know so much about inbound, why do I continue to go to the HubSpot Inbound conferences? I attend each year because what HubSpot talks about is relevant…Just remember that relevancy is a time-defining word and what was important last year is not necessarily relevant this year. So I go to the conference to learn, and also let’s not forget, network.
So there I was…sitting in a conference attended by 14,000 people. Most were HubSpot users, some were HubSpot agencies, some were partners (like Simon Associates) and some were non-users trying to get a feel for inbound and putting their foot in the water. But the common denominator was: we were all trying to understand what was new…what the leading edge was.
Remember, I just talked about relevancy. That’s what drove me to the conference. I want to know what is going to happen this year and next. How can I help my clients? I am a practitioner…not a futurist…Tell me about today and tomorrow. I don’t exactly care about 20 years from now. That’s why I was there!
Crucial takeaways from this year’s (and every year’s) HubSpot Inbound conference
So with that in mind, let me tell you what I think is important and why I go to this particular conference:
- Road maps are important. I need a road map. I need to know where I am going. And how do you know where to go without a roadmap? Quite frankly, Google Analytics doesn’t work for me because, while I can track people coming to the site, I find it difficult to measure content effectiveness. I guess I just prefer the HubSpot dashboard that we use. Every morning I go to my HubSpot site and can immediately get gross numbers, content measurement and the effects of social media on our clients’ sites. I can understand the effect of keyword search terms and can plot and measure the effect of long tale keywords we’ve used, as well as shorter more easily ranked words. This allows us to execute a min-max strategy.
- What about effectiveness? Both Inbound and HubSpot are cost-effective. Our clients, for the most part, have limited marketing dollars as well as limited (or non-existent) marketing departments. By producing highly engaging content and using inbound marketing techniques, we have been able to produce focused, measurable campaigns that are both efficient and effective.
- HubSpot is easy to use. I didn’t grow up digital. But I can understand and appreciate the elegance of HubSpot and the ability to publish and link easily from its templates. Plus, we can seamlessly generate CTAs and other devices to create awareness and entice people along the purchasing continuum. And the finished product always looks terrific.
- It is great for client presentations. Whoever designed the graphic interfaces understood that presentations are critical. It is very easy to convert the data presented from the HubSpot template to a client presentation.
So there you have it — why I attend the HubSpot Inbound conferences every year. No matter how much I know about inbound at this point, there’s always so much more to learn, which not only helps our clients but our own business, Simon Associates. A win-win! So will I see you there next year?
We’d love to help you reap the benefits of Inbound too
Simon Associates is all about helping organizations grow, change and thrive. If you would like to discuss how Inbound Marketing and/or HubSpot could help your business grow in these competitive, rapidly changing times, please contact us.