It’s difficult to write a post about Inbound. As some of our staff that attended last year can attest to, it’s a marketing conference that really has to be experienced. Surrounded by 21,000 people talking about marketing is like – it’s like riding a lightning bolt chock full of energy and passion.

Hubspot is the company that produces Inbound. While there are some sessions about Hubspot products, the vast majority of sessions talk about marketing – from big ideas and strategy all the way to tactical lists. I wanted to share some of the big takeaways of what the marketing industry is talking about.

Your Audience And Emerging Channels

Publishing content has certainly gotten easier. Websites, YouTube, social media, and more are the new content hubs. Content creators no longer have to obey big media or Hollywood to promote their stories because these hubs allow rapid startup and distribution of content. A good example of success is “Good Mythical Morning“, a YouTube channels which has over 12 million subscribers.

Paying attention to these channels and who leads content creation is essential to learn what content your audience craves, and how to engage and market to them as your audience seeks out fresh ideas, entertainment, and even support.

Video Is a “Now” Tactic, Not A “Someday” Tactic

B2B consumers are beginning to tire of the same content format – white papers, ebooks, templates and guides. There is a new kid on the block: digestible, intriguing, and entertaining video content. People can easily stream high quality video on any device, no matter where they are. As such, smart marketers have begun to notice and fulfill an ever-increasing demand for video.

This preference for video poses a predicament for marketing: good video is costly and time consuming to produce. It also poses a huge opportunity: video content can be leveraged at every stage of the funnel:

  • “Intro”, “101”, and “how-to” videos make perfect top-of-funnel content
  • Case studies and testimonial videos are perfect for your middle-of-funnel efforts
  • Demos or interactive live streams are great for the bottom of the funnel

If you’re producing video, it’s essential to make sure you are following video production best practices. Paying to produce high quality, intriguing, and entertaining video will be well worth the money, especially considering the current and future trends.

Tell A Better Story

Statistics are certainly motivating – however, people can feel overwhelmed by statistics. In contrast, they remember how content makes them feel.

Which moment is more memorable – having a dozen heat settings on a new grill vs. impressing your in-laws with an awesome steak?

“Cook a better steak.” That’s the core of the above product story. People buy grills because ultimately they want to prepare a better steak, not because they want a dozen heat settings or gadgets. Those features are nice, and they certainly help to make the steak preparation better. But when it comes to storytelling in marketing, we need to focus less on ourselves, and more on the original story.

Bots Are Here To Stay

Bots are taking marketing by storm – from chatbots in Slack to Alexa to Facebook, bots are beginning to become commonplace in our work and personal lives.

Bots are a new interface type – rather than a design, it’s more conversational. Bots are slowly gaining different roles, from common support issues like asking for wifi passwords and adding items to shopping lists to complex chained events like software publishing and compiling, bots will be an interesting development in the future.

Hubspot Founders Keynote

The founders of Hubspot always have a great inspirational and motivating message – this year was about Growth. Not just in sales, but as a people, company, and vision. It’s pretty inspiring.

It’s also 1.5h long, so block out some time for this one.


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