Next Generation Insurance Blog

Inbound 2012

Inbound 2012

By: jsheehan

Or should I say #INBOUND12?

 

Inbound 2012

Regardless of names and titles, last week brought Paul, our VP of Consumer Marketing, and I to Hubspot’s annual conference held at the Hynes Convention Center in our wonderful city of Boston. We knew we had signed up for three days of Inbound Marketing mayhem, but we were unsure what to expect.

Hubspot had plenty in store for us – from great speakers to a Cyndi Lauper concert to an exciting product release, even fruit-loop flavored fortune cookies! Now that I’m back in the office, I left Inbound without a lot of information, inspiration and memorable moments. The keynote speakers, breakout sessions and networking events made this conference a great one.

Keynotes

Arguably the best part of Inbound 12, the keynotes kicked off Inbound and each was just as good as the one that preceded it. Hubspot had a stellar lineup of speakers that spoke to all areas of inbound marketing and tied them to many aspects of life. David Meerman Scott emphasized the importance of real-time in inbound marketing and discouraged campaigns, Rand Fishkin did away with SEO biases and myths, Susan Cain spoke to the value of introverts, and Gary Vaynerchuk fired up the audience with his keynote on caring immensely and putting great effort into all aspects of marketing.

Some of our keynote takeaways included:

 

Break Out Sessions

Hubspot offered a wealth of breakout sessions throughout the course of the conference. Featuring speakers from Hubspot as well as industry leaders, these smaller sessions allowed us to delve deeper into specific areas of inbound and content marketing. They were hit or miss, but we came away from Inbound 2012 with a lot of great knowledge and observations.

 

 

The conference was extremely plugged in – when 2,800 inbound marketers get together, a lot of Tweeting happens! Although Pinterest is one of the newer social networks, it has been well adopted, and at NGI we know why! One of blog posts has had tremendous success on Pinterest, earning over 60,000 pins. It was great to see others have embraced its power as well.

 

 

At our social tech bootcamp Monday, we explored whether or not social ads DO anything. Viewing social advertising as an accelerator was such great perspective on this issue. Even if your ads are amazing, if your content is subpar advertising is nothing. Conversely, if your content is excellent but no one is finding it, advertising across social networks can help to drive up views, which lead to shares, and so on.

 

 

There are many approaches to SEO, customer service and building a product, however, focusing on what someone else is doing and not what you are doing is a surefire way to go astray. I found a lot of inspiration in this quote from David Cancel – doubling down on internal SEO efforts are the best way to improve our rankings, not mercilessly going after what someone else has already done. Long tail search terms are going to be getting a lot more attention from me moving forward as a result of what I learned at Inbound!

 

 

Paul and I attended the Facebook advertising session together, and in it we were reminded of the true power of the social aspect of this advertising. Although much of what we do is behind a computer screen, the importance of real-life connections cannot and should not be ignored in inbound marketing. After all, isn’t connection the reason all these social networks have cropped up? Having the ability to advertise in these spaces is a great opportunity.

 

 

Social is key to sourcing content to build your reputation. Who cares about a testimonial if a customer can just go to Facebook or Twitter to see what people are saying about you? The way we approach building a reputation is changing.

 

 

Maggie Georgieva is a Hubspot rockstar, and her presentation at Inbound was awesome. What is my content missing? Data! I had pigeonholed content creation to just creative, never thinking to get my inspiration from the cold, hard stats. Of course, this is not totally true – when something worked, I would try to replicate its success by fashioning simliar pieces and building on those ideas, but I had never thought to literally use data to instruct what content should get created. Thinking of content creation within this framework is exciting!

Inbound gave us a few days to brush up on our marketing knowledge, get some creative inspiration and enjoy a part of our city away from the office. To see more of thoughts and observations at Inbound 2012, follow Paul at @paulpennelli and me at @jenn186. Thanks to Hubspot for a great conference and Cyndi Lauper for some great tunes!

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