It’s that time of the year, where thousands of attendees, marketing and sales thought leaders, and experts gather at the INBOUND conference to transform their business with inbound marketing!
At INBOUND 2014, over 7,500 attendees discovered new methods, inspiration, and insight on connecting with their audience from over 100 speakers, including keynote speakers Guy Kawasaki, Dharmesh Shah, Malcolm Gladwell, and Brian Halligan. HubSpot’s INBOUND conference was held this year at the Boston Convention Center, and Propel Marketing was there to witness all of its greatest moments!
We gathered a few insights on INBOUND we picked up from co-founders of Hubspot, Dmarmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, and the Emmy Award-winning television host and media mogul, Martha Stewart.
Co-founders and long-time friends that met while attending MIT, Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan started Hubspot eight years ago to transform the way businesses market their products online. Since its founding, Hubspot has accumulated over 10,000 customers from around the world, raising over $100 million in venture capital from Sequoia, Google Ventures, and Salesforce.com to name a few.
Dharmesh and Brian discussed their innovative marketing concept, Inbound Marketing, and why it’s important. A common issue that small and mid-sized companies face is the lack of marketing dollars that large corporations have at their disposal.
Brian says: “Someone will always outspend you when it comes to grabbing a customer’s attention.”
Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product, where they naturally want to be.
“Spending vast amounts of money on creating a billboard or a TV commercial will only last a few seconds in the minds of a consumer. Instead, you should create helpful content that people can fall in love with and share. One blog can create a lifetime of value to your business by bringing leads to your website years after you have published your blog,” says Dharmesh.
Here are four tools Dharmesh and Brian think are most important to attract the right users to your site:
Blogging: Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
Social Media: You must share remarkable content and valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.
SEO: Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. You need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when they search. To get there, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.
Pages: You must optimize your website to appeal to and speak with your ideal buyers. Transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.
Martha Stewart, the Emmy Award-winning television host and owner of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reaches approximately 66 million consumers across all media platforms each month. Her company has a growing presence with 8,500 products in thousands of retail locations including The Home Depot, Michael’s, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, and many more retail chains.
Martha shared this great piece of advice for businesses:
“Every company dealing with a human being should understand what that human being needs and wants. The minute you stop delighting your customer, you are done!”
Martha’s brand delights customers by dealing with people’s lives on a daily basis. “We are entering people’s homes, we are in their refrigerators, we are in their bathrooms, in their closets, and in their bedrooms so it’s very important for our brand to have a more personal way of reaching our customers” says Martha.
She goes on to explain that her customers are people and people need to communicate, people need instant gratification, and instant knowledge of products.
Martha stresses the importance of having various online communications channels, such as a website that constantly provides updated information on products, and social media to engage with customers who are more savvy than ever before.
Martha has written numerous bestselling books and is the publisher of the Martha Stewart Living magazine, while her syndicated talk show, Martha (2005–12), is broadcast internationally. “Just like HubSpot’s use of inbound marketing tactics, we have been generating helpful content to help sell our products to consumers for over 30 years via our print publications and television content,” says Martha.
What key takeaways did you learn from INBOUND 2014?