I spent Tuesday-Thursday participating in Inbound 2021, a virtual marketing conference hosted by HubSpot. And though it was a great 3 days, I am now experiencing information overload.
My brain feels physically tired. A feeling I haven’t experienced since grad school. I watched 16 live sessions, and have at least 10 more on my watchlist through Inbound’s on-demand feature.
Before diving into any more content, however, I wanted to take some time to distill my takeaways from the last few days.
So without further ado, Inbound 2021’s most memorable quotes:
1. “No one lies to Google.” – Tony Verre in Killer SEO Strategies Through Product Design Methodology
Tony Verre’s session focused on how SEO content will need to become increasingly user-centered as Google starts to move away from keyword data.
This quote refers to how we can identify “search need states” through the terms searchers are using. Verre explains that a user looking for shoes isn’t going to search for couches, so search trends become a reliable source for your target audience’s self-identified needs.
2. “Really good creative includes the canvas that it’s going to be on. You design creative for the constraints of the platform”- Charlene Tassenari and Carly Potock in Creativity Thrives in Constraint How Successful Brands Create Video Content
This may seem kind of obvious—of course you’re going to design content for the platform you’re posting on. But how many of us actually research best practices for each creative platform?
Tassenari and Potock’s session was about creating short-form video content, so they discussed topics like optimizing Insta ads for sound-off since that’s the platform’s default and front-loading the first 5 seconds of an ad on YouTube before it becomes skippable.
But we should really be doing this type of analysis for written ads as well. How do the written platform’s features cater to certain types of ads and content?
3. “It’s more fun building than being at the top of your game, because you’re not afraid to take risks.” – Dawn Ostroff in The Benefits of Curating Content for Your Audience
Okay, this one got me. I am not naturally a risk-taker, but maybe it’s time to start.
I am at the start of my career with nowhere to go but up. Now is the time to be all-in, try new things, and make mistakes. What do I have to lose?
4. “Make your brand easy to mind and easy to find.”-Ty Heath and Jon Lombardo in How B2B Brands Grow: Great Marketing Drives Sustainable Growth for Companies
This quote would honestly make the list for the rhyme alone. Rhyme is reason, right? But it also offers amazing insight into the importance of brand awareness.
They discuss that even massive tech companies like SalesForce have an awareness problem. Most people don’t even know what their product does!
Most businesses don’t need to worry about buyer perception, because buyers aren’t thinking about your brand at all. Mental availability or being “easy to mind” needs to be your primary marketing goal.
5. “You have a polygamous relationship with your buyers.”-Ty Heath and Jon Lombardo in How B2B Brands Grow: Great Marketing Drives Sustainable Growth for Companies
Another gem from Heath and Lombardo.
Naturally, you want to offer a great customer experience to keep buyers coming back, but most buyers are purchasing similar products from several vendors, even in niche industries.
Brand loyalty isn’t as important as brand awareness!
6. “You stop learning when you take your last breath”-Spike Lee in Drawing Ambition out of Yourself and Others
Yes! I am a huge advocate of continuing education. (Hence participating in this conference and my shelf full of marketing books.)
Also, Spike Lee is super inspiring. I definitely recommend reading up on how he was able to make Malcolm X after losing funding.
7. “No do-overs. No going back. No editing and no recutting. I keep moving.”-Spike Lee in Drawing Ambition out of Yourself and Others
This is great advice for writers—know when to let go. He’s not saying that you should never edit, but at a certain point you have to be done.
And once you are, don’t go back to it. Learn from your experience and find a new project to work on.
8. “Blog growth is pretty much tapped out”- Andrew Hong in Transitioning to Content Marketing 2.0 with Video Podcasting
This quote created a lot of mental friction for me. My business is not entirely built around blogging, but at the same time, blog posts compose the lion’s share of my current projects. If blogs are already tapped out, what does that mean for Page Writing Pages?
Luckily, it’s not quite as dire as it sounds. There are still plenty of blog-readers out there, but we’re running out of new readers. Over the past five years, there has only been 1-2% growth in blog readership per year.
Podcast listener numbers, however, are growing dramatically and are projected to keep growing over the next couple years. So it’s a good time to diversify your content if you don’t already.
9. “Don’t worry about getting backlinks, just make good content.”-Franco Valentino in Debate: Where to Start – Content Creation for SEO First or for Sales
Backlinks have been a major component of SEO pretty much since day one, so this surprised me.
Valentino explained, however, that if you put the time you would spend farming backlinks into creating useful content, the backlinks will come naturally.
That’s all I have for now. Please share in the comments your favorite resources for professional development—conferences, books, articles, blogs. Let’s learn from each other!
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