Last week was the annual INBOUND 2016 Conference that is put on every year by HubSpot. With 19,000 attendees spanning 92 countries, 240 speakers, and almost 300 breakout sessions, our heads are spinning with information – and no not just from the election. If you weren’t able to attend the inbound marketing conference, or want to relive every moment, read our insights below from the unique perspectives from our founder and CEO, Jay Feitlinger, our strategist and head of marketing, Alix Parker, and our content strategist, James Grant.

If you aren’t familiar, INBOUND is a conference for inbound marketers, business owners, and sales reps to geek out over inbound trends, best practices, and how those apply to your respective role. INBOUND isn’t just for marketers anymore, it really impacts the entire company. So we decided it was crucial to send team members from each department to take in as much as humanly possible. Here is 1 key insight from each department, enjoy!


Looking To The Future

Chatbots were one of the hottest trends talked about at INBOUND, including being featured in Brian Halligan’s, the Co-Founder and CEO of HubSpot, and Dharmesh Shah’s, the Co-Founder and CTO of HubSpot, keynote. With the rise of users on messaging platforms, marketing and sales members have been dying for a way to apply this to their efforts. Imagine you are one of your messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger or Slack and you need some help. You could chat this particular bot and ask it questions, in a human way of talking, and it would respond with the answer. The point of this would be to make your tasks more efficient by completing tasks or answering questions on platforms you are already on.

HubSpot explains; “Picture yourself asking a chatbot on Facebook or Slack, “Remind me to schedule a tweet about our product launch” or “Tell me what keywords our #1 competitor is ranking for.”

The goal of this type of service would be to eventually eliminate emails and phone calls with businesses and make it more natural in your day to day communication. This could streamline sales activities where they don’t have to respond to hundreds of emails or answer the same questions on phone calls with their prospects, instead it would all be done for them. This concept truly embraces the inbound methodology by being helpful to your audience on platforms they are already using.

Nothing Better Than Free

As if providing a free sales CRM was not enough, they wanted to get their inbound marketing platform into the freemium game as well. At the INBOUND 2016 Conference, HubSpot announced their new HubSpot Marketing Free platform. All you have to do is add the plugin to your website and you are able to add forms to your website that will automatically add leads to your CRM when they complete the form.

Once the contact is in your database, HubSpot automatically tells you what company they work at, their job title, their social media profiles. It will tell you what source they originally came from and everywhere they go on your website. This allows you to analyze what pages are the most popular, what forms they are converting on, and sources that are driving the most traffic. It also helps you find trends on how users are navigating your website and what drives more conversions. This allows companies to get their feet wet to inbound marketing with no upfront cost.

Here is a quick example on how this could work for you. Let’s say you share your latest eBook on Facebook that links to your landing page. When the user is on the landing page it requires that they fill out a form in order to receive the eBook. When the user fills out the form, they are automatically added to your database inside the HubSpot Marketing Free system. After they download the eBook, they decide to check out a few other pages on their site. You would be able to see in their contact record that after converting on the eBook landing page, they then visited your services page, pricing page, and then scheduled a consultation with one of your team members. Wouldn’t you feel much more prepared for that sales call if you knew what content they had already read from you and what pages they visited? Wouldn’t it also be great to know what company they are from and have links to their social profiles so you can learn more about them before the call? This is the power of HubSpot’s inbound marketing platform.

Upcycle is the New Repurpose

Digital marketers struggle to continuously create new, frequent content that is relevant to their audience and optimized well for search. It can be extremely time consuming to create as well as difficult to come up with new ideas. A relatively new industry concept explained at the conference was upcycling your content. Basically the essentials of upcycling include taking one piece of content, adding value to it, and publishing it as something new.

The presenter, Salma Jafri who is the host of Content Marketing Tips #CMtips, explains; “content created with the intention of being upcycled can be released in a way that builds momentum via the ripple effect. Each piece of content builds upon the next. And each piece is also a stand-alone article with it’s own power and SEO juice.”

The process is actually super simple. For example, take a popular blog that you wrote, all you need to do is go in and update it with some new tips and insights, maybe add a video component to it, and then republish it. This gives your audience value by adding current and contemporary insights.  It also provides a new medium to experience it and gives the search engine a new piece of content to crawl which will help your organic search rankings. Don’t forget, the most important part of this is mapping out your content strategy and bringing your personas to the forefront to make sure you are providing actionable and helpful content that is well-connected throughout all of your content marketing efforts.

Well there you have it, 3 insights from growth, marketing, and content from the Inbound 2016 Conference. Have your own insights to share or want to to ask our team questions on what we learned? Comment below!

Image by salvi.nicola via Flickr CC