Our day-by-day recap of Inbound 17:
What is Inbound?
"INBOUND fuels the passion that drives the most innovative and successful business leaders of our time." - Hubspot
INBOUND is an annual conference put on by HubSpot, a world-leading inbound marketing and automation platform. What does HubSpot do? HubSpot provides a variety of marketing, sales, content, and customer service tools to help businesses automate their marketing and grow better.
INBOUND 2016 offered entrepreneurs, marketers, and sales personnel the opportunity to network and learn about the newest strategies designed to help master content strategy, website creation, inbound marketing basics or inbound sales.
Who is Yokel Local?
Darrell Evans and Stormie Andrews brought Yokel Local to life in 2010. They established themselves as a valuable resource to clients wanting to grow their business.
As a new HubSpot Partner Agency in Las Vegas, they've embarked on their 2nd journey to Boston to take on a Who’s Who of Marketing Elites, make marketing history and return with invaluable insight for their clients.
Inbound Day 1 - November 8, 2016
The Yocal Locals have arrived in Boston and are partaking of the local offerings. They were then treated to a tour of the Hubspot offices. Talk about taking "pre-conferencing" to a new level.
After exploring Boston for a bit, they then headed to the #INBOUND16 Conference.
The first keynote of the conference was delivered by "the man, the myth," Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee). You can bet Stormie and Darrell were like kids in a candy store as they witnessed Gary deliver an exceptional keynote on the "Journey of the Entrepreneur." If you ask us, It may go down as the best 45-minutes of their lives.
Here are a few takeaways from Gary's presentation you should think about as you plan to take your business to new heights in 2017:
Thoughts from Darrell Evans
I love attending conferences. In the case of Inbound, it's a chance to be among 19,000 of the top marketers and sales professionals on the planet from 92 countries.
I always look forward to the breakout sessions, networking, forming partnerships with other professionals and the parties. (Yeah, I said it.)
Gary Vaynerchuk lit up the stage (as usual) with a few key points:
1. As we head into 2017, we'd better start playing "big time' in Zuckerberg land (aka Facebook).
The big companies are still asleep at the wheel spending approximately $80 billion on traditional media like TV. When they wake up (and they will), and realize Facebook for what it is, they'll begin pouring that money into Facebook's ad platform and the costs may rise ten fold.
Think about it.
Today, small and medium sized businesses can get access to their exact target audience, build their brand awareness, generate leads for peanuts compared to TV, radio, newspaper or magazine advertising.
When the big corporate money starts flowing to Facebook, the small and mediums sized business may get pushed out due to cost.
Key Takeaway: Get your Facebook marketing strategy together now and execute on Facebook ads big time before that landscape changes.
2. Another point Gary made is to wake up every day trying to put yourself out of business.
Where did companies like Uber, AirBnB and Lyft come from.
From people who woke up and said, "There's got to be a better way." Then they created it.
People are looking to disrupt your industry every single day.
Key Takeaway: You have to have the hunger and drive to be thinking that way yourself. What are you doing in your business, not just to protect yourself from oblivion, but to innovate your company and brand using the technology that is available today.
Inbound Day 2 - November 9, 2016
Darrell and Stormie enjoyed a full day of activities. If you want a quick recap of the last 1.5 days you can watch Darrell's Facebook Live below:
Key Takeaways from #INBOUND16 Day 2
Outside of the daily keynote presentations, our fellow Yokels attended several breakout sessions covering a wide variety of topics.
Stormie decided to go live on Facebook (check out the video below) to share 10 tips by Bob Ruffolo (@BobRuffolo) of Impactbnd to turning your business around in 2017. Some of these tips include: building a strong leadership team, living by your core values, taking action based on the concerns of your employees, and hiring employees that will add more value to your company.
Darrell also shared some key points he took away from the two of the sessions he attended. The first session was "The Four Corners of Conversion" presented by Oli Gardner (@oligardner), the co-founder of Ubounce. Oli discussed conversion opportunities for businesses and how the influence of A.I. will impact your ability to get leads through your website.
The second session Darrell attended was by Jessica Vionas Singer (@jvionassinger) who spoke about using webinars for lead generation. One key point from her session was that there has been a shift in the way we communicate with our audiences online as a result due to everyone online not enjoying the same types of content.
At the end of the night, our fellow Yokels headed to the HubSpot Partner VIP party where they met some new HubSpot Partner friends.
They also got to rub elbows with two prominent figures within the Inbound community, HubSpot's Founders Brian Halligan (@bhalligan) (left) and Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh) (right), after witnessing their inspirational keynotes earlier in the day. I'll admit, those of us back in the office were (and still are) a bit jealous.
Thoughts from Darrell Evans
Day 2 is when the race begins. Non-stop breakout sessions with thought leaders and industry experts.
I attending a few sessions on the changing landscape in content marketing and social media marketing.
Small and medium sized busnesses need to recognize that different people prefer different types of content as they journey through the purchase process with your business.
B2B companies and some types of B2C companies should be considering the use of webinars.
I heard from Jessica Vionas-Singer who suggested that webinars fit into any stage of the inbound marketing and sales funnel.
At the awareness stage, you can do educational webinars,
At the consideration stage, you can do comparision and case study webinars.
At the decision stage, you can do product demos and behind the scenes webinars.
At each stage, these webinars will help you build trust and affinity with your prospect.
- Always start with a SMART Goal (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely).
- Best days to do webinars are Wednesday and Thursday at 11am or 12pm PST.
- Live webinars generate the highest quality leads.
Thoughts from Darrell Evans on Brian and Dharmesh's keynote
One of the highlights of Inbound is getting insights into the minds of the founders of Hubspot, Brian Halligan and Dharmseh Shah.
Brian talked about what's changed since 2006 (the year Hubspot was started) and 2016. Dharmesh talked about how things will change into the future and what Hubspot is doing to equip its customers and partners to win.
I got a chance to speak with both of them that evening at the VIP Hubspot Partner Party.
Here's what I said to Brian:
Thank you for being what you said you would be before we became a customer and eventually a partner. We've had many companies say one thing during the sales process only to be let down after the sale was made.
You'd done 100% of what you said you would do. Thank you for your leadership.
Here's what I said to Dharmesh:
Thank you for being such a visionary. The information you shared and the plans for the software in the future will help us help clients have massive success.
Your team's support has been fantastic, Your transparency has been unparralleled. Thank you.
Inbound Day 3 - November 10, 2016
Day 3 consisted of our Yokel Locals attending sessions that will help us as an agency and help you as a company to thrive in the upcoming year.
Thoughts from Darrell Evans
Today was mostly abut focusing on the needs of our agency. The top priorities are:
- Developing and recruiting marketing talent
- Defining our agencies niche into the future for scale
- Doing a better job with content to educate potential clients
There's a skills gap in the digital marketing industry. After sitting through a presentation on this topic by Nate Riggs, CEO of NR Media Group, I caught up with him for a few minutes to discuss this big issue.
Outside of the agency focused breakouts I attended, I did jump into a social advertising sesison where Michael Reynolds of SpinWeb spoke on the fact that we are "underspending on social media."
(Similar theme to Gary Vaynerchuk and Brian Halligan)
The key with social media marketing and advertising is understanding "intent."
No one is on social planning to buy anything at that moment. They're hanging out and looking for entertainment.
On Google, they are searching for specific things.
We can't confuse the context of the two opportunities to capture new leads and customers for our busineses.
Michael also encouraged the audience to do more on LinkedIn, especially businesses that sell B2C. While LinkedIn is considered a B2B social network, business professionals are consumers too.
After sessions ended, we enjoyed a great meal at Row 34 hosted by our team at Hubspot. Then we headed to the entertainment which was FANTASTIC!
Inbound Day 4 - November 11, 2016
Sad to say, our head Yokel Local's journey to Inbound has come to an end, and what a perfect way to end it than with a keynote by Alec Baldwin. And of course, he was real, funny and honest. The focuse of his keynote was content on the Internet and our TV screens.
Final Thoughts from Darrell Evans
Anum, Former Growth Marketer for Hubspot, taught us how to apply a product mindset to content.
She said, "Content marketing is breaking and that's its time to be more strategic. We can do this by moving from a mindset of having email subscribers to having monthly engaged users. She shared a plan for making the transition.
Next, I attended a very intriguing break out by Pamela Vaughn, Principal Marketing Manager of Optimization at Hubspot.
She brilliantly unpacked a "historical optimization" case study which unlocked the secret to doubling blog traffic and leads for Hubspot.
With over 15,000 blog posts on Hubspot's website, she shared with us that 83%-93% of Hubspot's leads come from anchor text and internal link calls to action (CTAs).
One reason is banner blindness.
For a long time, we've put our call to action banners in the side bar of our blog or at the bottom of a blog post or page.
Today, the stats show that web visitors just aren't looking at sidebars like they used to and many people don't even read all the way to the bottom of the post.
So we have to conversion optimize posts in new ways.
And that's a wrap! Though Boston was once agian good to us we're already excited about next year.
We hope you've enjoyed our short, yet sweet #INBOUND16 recap. As the year comes to a close we'll be sharing several key things you need to focus on as a business owner for 2017 if you want to see continued success.
Special thanks to our friends at Hubspot:
Chris Sergi, Channel Account Manager
Guillaume Delloue, Channel Consultant
Adrianne Mayshar, Our Former Channel Consultant
David Shepherd, Head of Channel Sales
The entire @Inbound Team
Brian Halligan, CEO
Dharmesh Shah, Founder/CTO
It's your commitment to our partnership that allows us to have the success we have helping our clients grow their businesses.