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INBOUND Conference Insights

Samuel Bradshaw
By Samuel Bradshaw - November 15, 2016

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As part of Horton Group’s partnership with HubSpot, we headed to Boston to attend INBOUND. As nearly 20,000 marketers and sales professionals from across the world are heading to the iconic Massachusetts city, the Horton team is gearing up for four days of inbound marketing expertise being shared between thousands of teams.

Nashville’s HUBSPOT PARTNER

What does it mean to be a HubSpot partner? Well technically speaking it means Horton Group has passed a threshold for number of happy clients, but it also speaks to our commitment to their tools and philosophy. Having just started our HubSpot Highlight Series, we’re going to be breaking down their tools this month and explaining how HubSpot can change your internal marketing practices forever. But we’ll use this as an opportunity to talk about HubSpot’s philosophy and how it relates to Horton Group’s approach to marketing.

HubSpot’s Mission

In the face of changing consumer behavior, Brian Halligan recognized that people weren’t responding well to traditional marketing approaches like TV advertisements, billboards, and other interruptive methods. With the rise of the Internet and vast amounts of information being readily available, consumers had all the tools to make informed decisions on their own. This is, generally speaking, where inbound marketing was originated from. The core theory is to transform your company’s digital presence into a magnet which draws in your buyers and generates revenue.

Learn more about HubSpot’s story here.

Horton Group’s Mission

Horton Group has been a reputable agency within the Nashville market for over 20 years, developing websites, coding custom applications, designing marketing materials, delivering brand stories, and more. We’ll continue doing all of those things, but recently we’ve made the commitment to offering inbound marketing services capitalizing on HubSpot’s near-flawless technology. The decision wasn’t made on a whim, as it came from our own observations in the ever-changing marketing landscape. Inbound works. It’s cost-effective, and it’s proven to be right for our clients.

Why INBOUND

As we entered our second day at INBOUND, we as a group have sat in on content strategy deep dives, client to agency relationship breakdowns, HubSpot Beta Product sneak peaks and more. As a HubSpot Silver Partner Agency, we recognize that we’ve set a foundation for success while there is still plenty of room for growth. Here are some of our team’s key takeaways from our time in Boston.

1. Content Strategy

Creating a content strategy, whether you’re a small business, a large corporation, or an agency, should be a collaborative effort between all teams within your organization. The best example of this is related to the concept of smarketing. Integrating both your sales and marketing teams, regardless of industry, will not only improve your company’s culture, but will allow for your marketing content to answer questions your leads actually have. By working with account managers to formulate topics, content writers and marketers will be able to publish more useful content for your leads. Utility is a hugely important characteristic of content with high return on investment.

2. Sales Enablement

There is a definitive shift in the way that successful selling occurs today. Traditionally, you needed someone on your team that was suave, smart, cool under pressure, and a shark - think Don Draper. In today’s world, those qualities are still valuable, but the real trick to enabling high conversion and close rates is through data - think nerd. What does your pipeline look like and at what rate is your average lead advancing through their buyer’s journey? How can that rate be improved? How effective is the your website content, and how is that measured? Use heat mapping tools to understand the effectiveness of your content and time on site. Data is powerful, and the world is quickly moving away from decisions being made by intuition alone. Pairing good intuition with valuable insights and analytics will affect both top line and bottom line revenue.

3. SEO vs. UX Design

Search engine optimization has long been a hot topic for inbound marketers and digital marketing in general. Driving organic traffic through visits from pages that rank well in search is an essential component of any inbound strategy. We’ve talked about this topic at length on this blog, and it was discussed in many breakout sessions at INBOUND this year. The most surprising SEO takeaway we took from INBOUND wasn’t related to keyword optimization, or on-site SEO development through page titles, meta-descriptions, or headers. Taking time to design and development an intuitive user experience can greatly affect your search engine rankings in the long run. Now that click through rates and page engagement factor into search engine rankings so heavily, it’s critical that your website promotes a positive user experience. This can take many forms, like making sure your website is mobile responsive, or making content on your website easy to find. SEO is constantly changing, and UX design is now a major consideration.

 

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