My jaw dropped as “14,000 attendees” popped across the screen at INBOUND 15, HubSpot’s end-of-summer marketing conference.
Last week, a sea of eager marketers packed into the stadium-sized room in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to hear an array of inspirational speakers. With keynotes ranging from the marketing maven and best-selling author Seth Godin, the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation (and daughter of Bill & Hill) Chelsea Clinton, and viral TED talker and storyteller Brené Brown. Not to mention the 170+ educational sessions where attendees were able to learn from successful entrepreneurs, writers, data geniuses, and an array of brilliant marketers. To sum it up, the event is an inbound marketer’s dream come true. WARNING: lots of Red Bull is needed if you plan to attend in 2016.
Over my last three years of Inbound attendance I’ve never seen a crowd so large. My first year at the show in 2013, I joined roughly 5,000 marketers. Last year, that figured doubled to 10,000. This year, I felt like I was in the streets of New York City, fighting through the crowd to join the line of anxious attendees in order to secure seats during prime sessions.
HubSpot has truly made their mark on marketers and salespeople worldwide with attendees from all over the world, and Inbound has become one of the biggest marketing events to rule the profession. Check out the 5 most shocking stats I learned during the jam-packed 4 day event.
Is your content forgettable? According to Dr. Carmen Simon, most likely.
Simon is a cognitive scientist and co-founder of Rexi Media, and during her educational session on “The Neuroscience of Content,” she explained that as humans, we tend to forget. Luckily, marketers have the power to control the 10% of what people actually remember, if they do it tactfully.
“Is the 10% your customers take away the right 10%? We can control the 10% through brain science,” says Simon. But, how? We need to start by breaking through habituation. “Habituation kills marketing!” she says. Modern audiences are exposed to so much stimuli that their threshold is higher than ever before. With distractions everywhere we turn, from social media, multiple devices at our fingertips, and guerilla marketing messages that appear throughout our days, marketers need to ensure that they’re not making it possible for audiences to look elsewhere.
But how? Changing stimuli and using what we know about dopamine can help. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter related to pleasure. Simon informed the audience that dopamine is not about the reward, but rather about the anticipation of a reward.
Simon encouraged the audience to give the brain something it recognizes with something surprising, like this picture of Alfred Einstein below.
I bet you didn’t see that one coming, but you know who that guy is, am I right?
TAKEAWAY: Use change to draw attention, but keep 10% constant to have a consistent and memorable message.
When I heard this stat from my colleague, the legend of PPC himself, Larry Kim (who I’m proud to report had a jam-packed session and encore session!), I actually suspected it to be even higher. It’s somewhat pathetic how much time I spend on social media, even at work. Nowadays, Facebook is even used for business so for certain employees they likely spend far over 2 hours a day on the platform. Whether it be stalking a friend (or stranger – no judgement), researching a brand, or promoting one’s own company, we’re on Facebook A LOT.
What does this mean for marketers? Most obviously, that you should be on Facebook! Unfortunately, relying on organic reach just won’t cut it. Everyone who’s anyone is on the social network so just posting with hopes of getting traffic and leads will get you nowhere, according to Kim. You need to pay (just a little) to play!
TAKEAWAY: The scope of things marketers can do with a small amount of cash on Facebook is mind-blowing. From demographic targeting, custom audiences, remarketing, call buttons, etc., marketers should be leveraging these tools to attract and convert more customers.
I actually stumbled into this session by accident. Literally, I went to the wrong room. Perhaps, I shouldn’t be announcing this to all WordStream blog readers, but I’m glad I did because as a content marketer, I loved hearing this stat.
Hopkins explained how creating great content that resonates with your target audience is one the most critical components to your lead generation strategy. At WordStream, this has definitely proved true (hence, I have a job!). But, what does good content look like? Good content answers questions, is formatted in an easy to digest manner (think book formats – headings, block quotes, sections, etc.), incorporates brevity, contains memorable images, and is written in a relatable manner in order to resonate with its target readers.
TAKEAWAY: Prioritize great content and ensure that each piece of content exceeds the expectations of the reader.
Corey Eridon is a long-time HubSpotter who played a large role in the growth of the HubSpot blog (which has over 2 million monthly readers to date). She shared her 18 hard-won lessons from her four years of blogging growth. Some were obvious and some insightful, but the stat that struck me the most were the impact that older posts are still having on readers. Aside from the sweeping majority of blog leads coming from older posts, 76% of monthly views on the HubSpot blog come from old blog posts as well.
So, what are these pieces and how can one duplicate them? Eridon explains that the depth of the piece can turn a good piece into a great piece. She recommends reading your post once it’s drafted and asking whether there are still unanswered questions. This is the key to making a piece of content that people will refer back to. News posts and live-blogging can get lots of hype, but when the event is done, so is the post.
TAKEAWAY: Shift your focus from being on the scene first to creating useful and informative content that will provide ongoing value (and hopefully generate more and more leads) over time.
Jami is another HubSpotter who serves as the editor for HubSpot’s agency blog. With her welcoming demeanor, Jami guided the audience through her session titled “How to Get the Attention of Editors Without Making Them Want to Die.” PR professionals had their ears peeled, but one takeaway that I found useful (and not just for PR people) is that the crafting an intriguing headline is the most important part of an email.
This makes sense, right? Yet, it’s something that’s easily overlooked in our day-to-day. Check out this email subject line from my colleague, Erin Sagin, for instance. All she had to write was “milkshake,” and the open and read would occur – well played (bonus points for knowing her audience!).
TAKEAWAY: For high-priority emails, spend time crafting compelling subject lines to get attention faster.
Beloved comedian and star of “Parks and Recreation” Aziz Ansari has added author to his list of accomplishments. Aziz took the stage on Thursday morning discussing his recently debuted book, Modern Romance.
In the book, Aziz discusses today’s dating and relationship culture compared to how things were in the past. What stood out to me most is that swiping right in one’s Tinder app has replaced meeting a suitor at the bar. Today, 1 out of 3 people now meet online! I expect that number will only increase with time. Learning how things have changed from when our parents and grandparents were on the market was quite fascinating.
TAKEAWAY: If you’re having trouble meeting a companion, don’t shy away from online dating. It works!
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