There’s one thing for sure in the online marketing world: change.
It’s constantly reinventing, recycling and regenerating into the next phase.
Right when marketing starts to show its wrinkles, in comes a splash from the fountain of youth or some secret anti-aging potion. And a new cycle starts; and marketers scramble for the road map, the recipe and the answers to staying relevant.
Is it the law of attraction?
The law of gravity?
1. It’s the Law of Change
The law of change states that everything is in the process of becoming something else.
Change happens everywhere and with everyone and happens constantly. Kind of tiring, but true.
“There are three main factors that are the causes of change in our life: choice, chance and crisis,” according to best-selling author John Kehoe.
The same holds true for online marketing.
At HubSpot’s INBOUND18, one of the largest marketing conferences in the world, the message was clear – change is in the air. There is a shift happening.
The inbound marketing event, which attracted more than 24,000 attendees, featured 280+ sessions, spotlights, and keynotes.
The result was more than your average marketing takeaways, the agenda left attendees inspired, challenged and walking away with a new reality of what’s happening and what is to come.
Gail Axelrod, Director of Opeview, a company that invests in brands such as Calendly and Expensify, shared secrets on how she led her two-person team to scale from 0 to more than 100,000 subscribers.
Tactics such as syndication, building a network of superstar contributors, long form content and turning amazing content into beautifully designed print books work like a mean and lean content engine reaching beyond sales borders and into thought leadership and brand dominance.
Her team scoured sources for published content that resonated with ClearView’s audience. Rather than reinvent the wheel, she asks permission to syndicate giving full credit to the source and author with canonical links.
Many times this content becomes the brand’s most popular content and leads to the authors/sources becoming exclusive contributors to ClearView’s blog.
Give to get.
Social PR Secret: Using tools like Typeform helps create lightweight surveys and turn data and results into infographics.
8. Video Is Your Content Answer
Embrace it. Be raw. Be real. Go beyond the obvious.
Video today means more than a YouTube channel you publish to a few times a year.
Video is the frictionless way to delight your customers and attract new ones. Some out of the box ways to incorporate video into your strategy right now include:
Adding a short intro video to your email signature.
Creating a video walking prospects through a proposal.
Adding FAQ videos as a source to share and use as a answer bank.
Embedding videos in your landing pages.
Social PR Secret: Instagram expert Sue Zimmerman uses FaceTime video to take one-on-one calls after large Facebook Live events. The result? It works to close deals.
Moral of the story? People like actual face time.
9. Messenger Is More Meaningful Than You Think
Not so breaking news: customers and prospects want to interact with a chatbot if it means a pain free, frictionless path to get from point A to point B.
Breaking news: Most brands haven’t adapted a chatbot strategy beyond the obvious customer service.
The time is now.
A chatbot ROI will beat out email results in ways beyond traditional expectations.
“Mari Smith and Larry Kim’s inbound sessions convinced me it was time to stop using social media to blast out promotional content, but instead, embrace one-on-one relationship via Facebook messenger. It’s clear Facebook messenger chats should not be completely automated but have a good balance between automation and human touch,” said Ai Addyson-Zhang, Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Stockton University and digital entrepreneur.
10. Movements of Diversity, Awareness & Responsibility
Inbound keynote Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement back in 2006, reminded us that #MeToo is more than a marketing hashtag that trended in 2017 because of Harvey Weinstein.
It’s about the 12 million people who engaged with the #MeToo hashtag in a 24-hour period. Burke reminds brands that each #MeToo hashtag is a person who suffered from sexual harassment and abuse – each had the courage to raise their hand and say “Me too”. They finally have a safe place to be heard.
What can brands and marketers do?
Go review your sexual harassment policy. If you don’t have one, create one.
Burke encourages each of us to fill in the gaps. Keep the conversation open and the dialogue moving forward.
Should men act different since the #MeToo movement?
“People know where the line is. Women want to exist without men randomly touching them. Men should not act any different than they were before the #MeToo movement and if they feel they need to, then that’s a problem,” Burke noted.
Values aren’t just something you list on your orgs HR page. You need to live out your values within the org community. It’s more than just talk. How do you embody your values?#metoo #INBOUND18
“#INBOUND18 embraced diversity, empowerment, and new perspectives on the field from different approaches,” said Karen Freberg, Ph.D. Associate Professor in Strategic Communications. “Shonda Rhimes, Dan Gingriss, and The Museum of Ice Cream all did this superbly. Marketing, especially social media marketing, has been disrupted.
“Stories, those that spark emotion and delight others, can be the catalyst that separates brands and professionals from the rest of the crowd,” she added. “Embracing uniqueness and those who truly make an impact are the ones standing out from the crowd.”
We are entering an era in which we are no longer bound to the content we physically produce.
“Now is the time to build your space. The time is now for first-mover advantage… people are looking for content and this is the time to seize the opportunity and build your VR and AR experiences,” said Matthew Cooney, VR/AR Product Manager, Fidelity Investments.
Social PR Secret: For your VR initiatives, don‘t build the class, build the classroom. Invest into a reusable platform for your brand initiatives!
“AR and VR will allow us to play, work, learn, and explore virtual worlds and alternate realities,” Deepak Chopra noted in the opening keynote.
12. Career Well-Being Is a Function of Business Success
Chopra opened Inbound with a message highlighted career well-being.
It isn’t enough to only look at physical well-being.
We must look at well-being in a holistic manner – physical, mental, emotional, social, community, financial, spiritual, and career well being.
This causes $3 billion dollars loss in revenue every year. #INBOUND18
— Ai Addyson-Zhang, Ph.D Digital Learning Consultant (@aiaddysonzhang) September 4, 2018
“This year’s INBOUND encouraged me to get more in tune with that voice deep within that knows when things align (or don’t); to take more risks and stop waiting for outside permission; to think more about the stories I tell, and how I tell them; and that I’m so much more knowledgeable than I give myself credit for,” said social media strategist Christine Gritmon.
Whether it’s your brand, marketing, customer service or team building, like with anything, if we want to change the external we must change the internal.
Embracing the law of change allows us to not get stuck and always embrace new ways.
Check out this Inbound After Party Recap via Facebook Live
Featured Image: Taken by author, September 2018 In-post Photo #1: Taken by author, September 2018 In-post Photo #2: HubSpot
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