On 15th March, our business development director, Tania, and myself headed down to sunny Birmingham to attend Grow with Hubspot. This half-day event involved two speakers from Hubspot and a panel discussion on content marketing and all things inbound.
While we consider ourselves fairly knowledgeable when it comes to content marketing, there was plenty to learn from this event, including inbound best practices and how to use automation software to really make your marketing life easier.
Couldn’t make the event or need a refresh? These were our favourite quotes from the speakers, and what we learned from the event:
1. “92% of leads are from old articles” - Ian Stanley
As marketers we often find ourselves chasing our tails trying to create a constant stream of content, but this statistic from Hubspot’s Ian Stanley proves that the new is not always the best. It’s important for marketers to recognise the importance of their old content and continue to nurture and promote it through their other channels.
For example, we include a #ThrowbackThursday piece in our weekly newsletter and regularly share older posts on social media. Older content can still contain brilliant (and relevant!) nuggets of insight.
2. “99% of marketers aren’t using personas” - Éadaoin Murphy
When Hubspot’s second speaker Éadaoin Murphy asked the audience “how many of you use personas in your content marketing?" we were surprised to see only a dozen hands go up (including our own). And we were even more surprised to hear “if you are using personas you are doing better than 99% of marketers”. Here are Axonn personas are an important part of our marketing strategy, both internally and for clients, to ensure we are creating the kind of content our audience are interested in. Want to learn more about creating personas? Download our guide here.
3. “Content should never sit on its own” - Gina Balarin
During the panel discussion, the question was raised over whether to create a larger campaign piece of content or start with smaller pieces, and Gina Balarin of OmPrompt declared that content should never sit alone. She believes that large pieces of content should be broken down into relevant chunks, and advocates the repurposing of big content pieces such as ebooks into blog posts and newsletter content. Learn more about repurposing in our piece, how to never run out of content ideas.
4. “Instead of thinking about B2B or B2C marketers should be thinking about H2H - Human to Human” - Gina Balarin
After a question about how B2B and B2C marketing techniques might differ, Gina Balarin encouraged the audience to think instead about H2H - human to human, and building a human connection with your prospects. This involves focusing more on a personalised experience for your prospects and using your personas to ensure your prospects get a real connection with you, not just your business.
5. “Confirm what other people are thinking, don’t necessarily teach them new things" - Jim Regan
Content marketing can be challenging if you work in a particularly niche industry, so Aptuit’s Jim Regan encouraged marketers in more specialist industries to focus less on using content marketing to educate, and more about creating the kind of content that confirms the audience’s beliefs. This gives you to opportunity to build not only connection, but also trust with your target market.
6. “Inbound marketing should future-proof your marketing as you grow” - Ashley Sinclair
When it comes down to ensuring your marketing is scalable and future-proof, Ashley Sinclair of Mindclick believes content marketing is the most realistic answer. Whether you choose to read a newspaper or scroll through Twitter on your smartphone, content isn’t going anywhere. The platforms might change, the ways of accessing content might change and the actual content might change, but content itself is not going away. When it comes to traditional marketing techniques, we’re skipping ads thanks to Netflix, signing up to the Do Not Call register and ignoring our junk mail. Content however, regardless of its format, will always be consumed.
7. “Content marketing is like a striptease… thigh-high content is the moment they're ready to slip that digital 20 into your virtual garter” - Gina Balarin
Finally, our favourite. Gina Balarin went for a slightly racy analogy in the roundtable discussion when it came to developing content for each stage of the user journey. She calls it the “striptease theory” - “calf-length” content is shorter content that gets your audience's attention, then “knee-high” content is longer pieces that get them interested, and finally “thigh-high” content in the end of the funnel content that gets them ready to “slip a digital 20 into your virtual garter.” The message here is that all your content pieces should work together to “tease” your prospect through the funnel, providing a little bit more at each stage until they are ready to buy.