While there’s more insight than we could possibly blog about, here’s a look at the most interesting trends we uncovered at HubSpot’s INBOUND ’13 conference.
1. To generate or to nurture. What’s your goal? Lead generation and lead nurture campaigns should not be treated equally — both require unique content and delivery strategies. Establishing your campaign goal (to nurture or to generate) needs to be the first thing you do, and the answer should dictate the rest of your inbound marketing goals.
2. Creating sales personas. Directly from the conference: if you don’t have buying personas, you’re doing it wrong. It’s the most basic (and targeted) form of sales segmentation.
3. Map your offers to the buyer’s journey. Prospects crave different content at different stages of the buying cycle. Understanding your buyers’ journey and targeting them with the right content, at the right time (when do they need an e-book, when do they want to view a product demo, etc.) is an easy step to improve conversion rates.
4. Alternative calls-to-action (CTA). Having more than one CTA goes against everything marketers preach. But, just maybe, there’s an exception. Alternative CTAs could be beneficial when your offer falls drastically to one side of the sales funnel. For instance, if a top-of-the-funnel lead comes across a webinar that demos the product, conversion is unlikely. That’s unless, of course, you give the visitor another path to take that better fits to where they are in the sales journey – like a whitepaper on a pressing industry challenge.
5. Context and personalization. Inbound marketing is no longer unique — the discipline has been widely adopted across many industries. The new challenge: how do you drive performance above-and-beyond your peers? The solution is personalization and context-aware marketing. By that we mean taking the extra step in your outreach to be personal, human and relevant (that email you sent to 5,000 people shouldn’t seem like it was sent to 5,000 people…). Communication should also be context-aware, and the offers and messaging you present should be predicated on what actions a contact has already taken.
6. Transparency builds trust. Leaving out certain details — like prices, terms and information-gathering policies — can hinder the conversion process. The same holds true for that unsubscribe button — yes, you should really include it. Being open and transparent is a simple and effective way to build trust from your contact base.
Do you have a different perspective on what was most interesting at INBOUND ’13? Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Our team will be blogging almost entirely about inbound marketing for the next two weeks. Be sure to check back for the latest trends, strategies and ideas.