INBOUND14: Do what you love

Janelle Monae at INBOUND14
If you don’t know who she is yet, I’m thinking you will soon. Here she is on stage at the INBOUND14 party.

I had the good fortune to attend HubSpot’s INBOUND14 event. Great event for content, excuse me, inbound marketing. As I reviewed my notes, these are some of my favorite quotes from the sessions I attended.

“Less is more.”
Lindsay Thibeault, Senior Inbound Professor, HubSpot Academy @LindsayRegina

I need this as a tattoo. I’ve heard this one before, but I’ve always been of the opinion that more is more (especially for beer and pizza). Maybe it was the context of the session and having really been thinking about the lessons and applying them to what we do, that it finally struck a nerve with me.

Over the years, I’ve produced a LOT of content. Webinars. A magazine. Web articles from the magazine. Newsletters (the first one distributed by fax). Blogs. Wiki. Community. Tweets and various social site updates. Infographics. In the context of what was needed for the organization, I continue to think that not enough content was produced. But, looking back, I think I let that concern dominant a cold look at the amount of content that could effectively be produced within the confines of what I was working with – AND THAT COULD STILL BE PROMOTED EFFECTIVELY.

“Helpful is the new sexy.”
Dan Moyle, Marketing Director, Amerifirst @danmoyle

I loved hearing this. Particularly because it reinforces my own bias about what’s effective for my (recently ex) audience. While people do love content management and their jobs, for most people, it’s they’re job. I’ve always said, “No one reads AIIM for fun.” Folks go to AIIM for tips, advice, and education for how to do their jobs better when it comes to managing content.

The “Robocop Rule”
Not a direct quote. Ask yourself, would you pay $1 for this piece of content? If not, is it worth producing? For those of you not familiar with Robocop, there was a random game show commercial where the guy said “I’ll buy THAT for a dollar!”

Anyhoo.

“Do what you can manage.”
Lindsay Thibeault (again)

A useful reminder that you can’t do it all. Pick your social channel (preferably where your audience is). You can’t create every type of content under the sun. You can’t follow up every idea. You can’t turn every idea into content. Draw limits around what you’re going to do.

Sleep. Recharge. Don’t get strung out.

“Change your mind.”
Guy Kawasaki, Canva, @GuyKawasaki

Taken to extremes, you’ll never get anywhere. However. If you are in the middle of a project/plan/decision, then you find a better idea – change course. If it’s a better idea, a better decision; then changing your mind is a sign of intelligence.

Note: he was talking about Steve Jobs. So don’t equate your wishy-washiness with innate genius.

“ABC – Always Be Cultivating.”
Marshall Kirkpatrick, Co-Founder/CEO of Little Bird @marshallk

In this session on influencer marketing, he recommends establishing relationships before you need them. I know from desperation pitches from PR agencies when I was an editor, that it does work. While business is supposed to be rational, it’s always nicer to work with someone you know (and like and trust) than it is to start a relationship with a cold call. Or even rely on the cold call as the “relationship.”

“Out-Think. Out-Teach. Out-Help.”
Dharmesh Shah, Co-Founder and CTO, HubSpot, @dharmesh

Yeah. I really like the sound of that.

“Delusion-driven to data-driven.
Dharmesh Shah, again

If I had known how much I’d need to know about analytics, I might’ve just doubled-down on print editing a few years ago. Figure out your analytics and what’s working to convert people from strangers to leads and from leads to customers. I’m still a believer in “relying on your gut” at least a little, but backing up gut instinct with facts = powerful.

SEO is not dead.”
Danny Sullivan, Founding Editor at @MarketingLand and @SEngineLand, @dannysullivan

People will always be looking for information and we’ll always need to do “things” to help them find it. Is trying to be the number one on a Google search page dead? Yep. With paid ads, and local search, and cookies; results for the same person searching on the same phrase could change with a trip to Starbucks to work for a while.

Build your audience, not links. Increasingly, what Google is trying to do with its algorithms is search like humans do. So, you know, write for humans.

If you’re link baiting and keyword packing; don’t you hate yourself a little bit by now?

“SEO is what happens when you do everything else right.”
Chad Pollitt, VP of Audience at Relevance @chadpollitt

There seems to be a Zen thing to SEO these days: the best SEO is no SEO. Of course, not true – there still are things to do with keywords, etc. to ensure you can be found. But, as above, and it can’t be said too many times: Write. For. Humans.

“How do you NOT find the time to answer people who find you?
David Meerman Scott, Marketing & Sales Strategist, Bestselling Author, @dmscott

Well, when you put it like that . . . He was making a fantastic point about folks who complain that “I don’t have time” and “It’s too hard” to keep up with social media. If you don’t, your competitor will. Use whatever social tracking tool you have/can afford, but answer every damn question asked of you on all the social networks you participate in. Spread too thin, ease back. After all, “Do what you can manage.”

“Urgency.”
Malcom Gladwell, Bestselling Author, The Tipping Point

People who shift industries and the world into new patterns all have a sense of urgency. Take the example of Steve Jobs first look at the mouse at Xerox Park in Santa Clara. Eventually, Xerox produced a computer – at a ludicrous price. By then, Jobs had essentially stolen the idea of the mouse from Xerox, gotten someone to manufacture it cheaply, and launched Apple on the success journey it’s still on today. Jobs wasn’t smarter (he didn’t invent the mouse) or wiser. What he did have: urgency. He got it done.

You still dawdling on your perfect idea? MOVE!

“Self-Promotion is good.”
Kieren Flanagan, Marketing Director (EMEA) at HubSpot @searchbrat

It’s nice to have permission to do something you know you need to do. This isn’t to say that you should only promote your own stuff – of course you shouldn’t. But, unless people see your content, you are wasting your time. So, get it out there. Share it widely wherever your audience is. Just don’t be an ass about it and share other stuff too.

“What we do: solve problems.”
Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, @thesaleslion

Stop worrying about the phrasing around what you do – inbound, content marketing, whatever. Customers don’t care. Focus your efforts on solving their problems.

“Trust is ALWAYS on trial.”
John Janstch, Duct Tape Marketing @ducttape

Think about that the next time you want to try a bait and switch headline for something.

“We process pictures 60x faster than text.”
Ekaterina Walter, Bestselling Author of Think Like Zuck and cofounder of Branderati, @ekaterina

It was at this point that I hit my tipping point of “stop thinking just in text, you fool.” Images pack emotion. Pay attention to the pretty.

“Be a ‘little’ creepy.”
Larry Kim, Founder/CTO of Wordstream, Inc. @larrykim

In his talk on re-marketing, Larry made the point of staying in front of your audience longer than conventional wisdom has it when working on a PPC campaign. While clicks are less likely over time, the people who do finally click are 2x as likely to convert to a sale. Play with your impressions and campaign duration.

“We just do things we love.”
Martha Stewart @MarthaStewart

OK, I admit to making a “She’s going to macramé us a content strategy” joke before the keynote. Whether or not spray painting pumpkins through panty hose is your thing (actual example from her speech); she has developed an incredible business empire based on content. When asked how she prevents brand dilution, I thought her response was awesome: “we just do things we love.”

What do you love?

Published by

bryantduhon

Editor. Dad. Husband. Content marketer and strategist. Serial procrastinator. Pizza eater. Beer drinker. Not always in that order.

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