In 2016, there’s no excuse for still using outbound marketing tactics like cold calling for example. In fact, it’s time to get more social and more involved with your customers now than ever before. Especially with platforms like Yelp, Twitter and Facebook, your customers heavily influence what your potential leads and customers think about you before you even make contact with them.
This year, HubSpot’s Inbound 2016 was extremely customer focused even to the point of putting yourself in your customer's’ shoes. From Co-Founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah to Gary Vaynerchuk, Inbound 2016, as usual, provided tons of new insight and best practices to better your marketing especially as we approach 2017. End this year off strong by learning and applying the following inbound marketing best practices from keynote thought leaders at Inbound.
Brian Halligan If you are not marketing in Zuckerberg’s world, you might as well be marketing inside a trash can.
- Shift from text to video: If 1/3 of all online activity is spent watching video, wouldn’t you make the shift. Static content is slowly dying out. Your audience is already diving into the video world with sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Why not join them?
- Be social: If you don’t have social media, it’s time to permanently crawl from under your rock. Mark Zuckerberg has created a world where people chime in everyday. And we’re just talking about Facebook and Instagram alone. You are in the business of human to human marketing. Meaning, if you expect to receive value from your customers, you have to provide that value first. And the best way to do that is to meet up with them online in their social spaces, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn etc.
- Rev up your content: As mentioned before, static content is dying out. So spice up your content by using your blog post as the topic for a video. Or embedding a podcast interview into your blog post. It’s time to think multipurpose when it comes to your content creation.
- Provide self service: Everything is becoming automated from responses we get on social media or email to self service checkout lines in grocery stores. We cannot be in so many different places at one time AND at the same time provide out of this world service for our customers. So provide a self service, automated buying experience for your customers. That way they can experience your brand even when you’re off the clock.
Quite possibly the funniest 19,000 person keynote presentation I've ever given: https://t.co/UASDg4JI71 (also, the only one)— Dharmesh Shah (@dharmesh) November 14, 2016
In the next video, Gary Vaynerchuk calls out marketers to actually BE social media practitioners. Basically take the time to overcome the risk of failing on social media instead of taking the necessary time to learn and apply it as a quintessential tool and skill for your business. Practice. Practice. Practice in order to know what you’re talking about as marketer and even as a brand.
- Establish self-awareness: How do you want to show up for your customers? If you don’t have a strong sense of identity, how will you overcome the fears of implementing new platforms and marketing tools as they continuously come out? If you have a strong sense of self and what you can provide for your audience, BOOM, you’ve established a well established brand identity that is key to engaging in conversation with your audience, i.e., through your content.
- Know your audience: It’s easy for B2B or business to business clients to speak with one another. Why? Because they know their audience. They know who they are talking to and their clients know and understand what they are saying. For B2C or business to consumer, it seems harder to engage with their audience, because they don’t know their audience enough or not all. So whether you are a B2B or a B2C company, know your audience and talk with them.
- Implement practical risk: A major pledge Gary said near the beginning of the video is to go to a retirement home and spend some time talking with 70 to 90 year olds. This pledge tests the reality of your fears. Businesses fear social media yet it’s thriving for various companies including Gary’s. Don’t add this to your list of regrets once you hit your 70. Make a choice to implement some practical risk when comes to creating posting a picture on Snapchat, making that video using Facebook live, or even creating that podcast interview with people within your industry. Know your brand, know your audience, and once you know them both, take the risk to engage your audience in spaces where your audience is congregating on right now.
The thing that I am completely taken aback by is that fact that this [mobile] is now the television and the television is now the radio.—Gary Vaynerchuk
These are just a few inbound marketing takeaways to get you started.
Embark on your own journey to inbound today and for more great insight, check out some more videos from the following thought leaders at Inbound 2016:
- Rand Fishkin — How To Keep Up With Google
- Christopher Penn — Building the Data-Driven Customer Journey"
- Nancy Harhut — 10 Human Behavior Hacks That Will Change the Way You Create Email
- David Darmanin — 5 Things You Can Do Tomorrow to Make your Website Convert More
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