After a week of recovery, it’s high time to reflect back on HubSpot’s INBOUND16 conference. This year I went to Boston representing WE LIKE YOU. Now, don’t act like you didn’t notice it on our Instagram accounts! 😉 After an 8-hour trip and 4 days of listening, learning, discussing, brainstorming, and networking, I’m excited to share my honest observations.
INBOUND16 had some big names like Gary Vaynerchuk, Larry Kim, Anna Kendrick, Ryan Bonnici, Alec Baldwin, Serena Williams, and Rachel Happe to come and speak … yep, choosing is losing! So, you get it when I say I had a hard time picking. Four intense days about content marketing, social media, marketing automation, data-driven marketing, and digital strategy, plus now and then a reminder of the US election. Here are a few key takeaways that got me thinking (and tweeting)—and I am not talking about the election (I’m sure you’ve already had enough of that anyway!)
1. Yep, marketing – social Media – automation is booming!
Focus! Now sales and marketing teams have the power to leverage innovative technologies to reach more people (and the right audience), generate more leads, close more deals, and report on the process in less time. Streamline the process using automation.
2. Since we all like content, everyone is doing it. Please, stand out!
Forget about the cats and click bait Kardashian content from time to time! We definitely need a place to go for smarter content on the internet. Everyone likes content marketing, but please just say NO to sending donkeys into space— go for the unicorns! Be picky and only promote your best stuff. Go all-in with your unicorns, and RE-PROMOTE.
3. People can smell it on you if you’re not authentic on social media.
They sure can, so don’t fake it till you make it. You can’t measure authenticity, but it’s there. It’s that feeling you get when you see something either incredible on brand or incredibly off point. Never, ever be afraid to be yourself: People need to get past your camouflage to connect. Be honest, genuine, authentic and embrace your flaws.
4. Facebook groups are the new hashtags!
Social media is dead. For example, over the years Facebook transferred to a pay-to-play model. But thank god, the community is your Duct Tape! Why? Because the best way to build and keep an audience is to build a community.
5. Build bots for the same reason you create a website: customers have questions.
This really got my attention. There is a strong backing behind the technology of chatbots on your website that I think are going to prevail over the next 2-3 years, so start thinking about this now. HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah’ himself called chatbots the biggest wave in technology in the past two decades.
6. Stop hiring bloggers and hire videographers!
Video should be 50% of your new content production in 2017. Video has also gone back in time in terms of how they were once created. Shorter videos are becoming more popular (think GIFs, Vine, Snapchat, and Instagram Stories).
7. Don’t relax!
Don’t Relax. With a show of hands, Gary Vee asked the audience whose companies are doing well. His main advice for such individuals? Don’t relax. There’s always going to be someone younger and hungrier out there who will put you out of business.
Yep, HubSpot’s INBOUND conference is like Disneyland for marketers.