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Champ’s Take on INBOUND 2015

A few of us at Champ had the amazing opportunity to attend Hubspot’s INBOUND 2015 Conference. The purpose of INBOUND is to provide inspiration, education and connections to help transform your business. There were more than 14,000 marketing and sales professionals from around the globe at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. To say it was a typical conference would be an understatement. We hope you enjoy some of our takeaways in this blog post, from a couple different perspectives.

Josefine Nowitz, Account Executive:

As soon as I stepped into the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on Tuesday evening, I knew that this event would be unlike any other conference I had attended. I stood at the top of the escalators and looked down into a sea of social media gurus, content marketers, web designers, and developers with astonishment.

Groups of digital marketers shuffled around a life-sized hashtag reading ‘#INBOUND15,’ as they tuned into the keynote address. Knowing the nature of this conference, I immediately pulled out my phone and checked into Twitter. Needless to say, there was a new tweet flowing in with the hashtag #INBOUND15 every 30 seconds from the keynote on Tuesday evening to the last session on Friday.

The keynote speech was given by world-renowned author, Seth Godin. He spoke about social media and the constant flow of content traveling to and from our devices, in a matter of sections, on a daily basis. He advised the content marketers in the room to avoid mindlessly pushing out information to the masses, but instead to try to “make change.” Godin stated that for the first time in history anyone had the ability to tap into billions of people, and with that comes a lot the fear and anxiety about: what in the world should I say? Godin informed the anxious digital marketers that there is no such thing as writers block and that published writers aren’t lucky or extra special. He backed this up by mentioning that Stephen King or Harper Lee were not best-selling authors before they became best-selling authors. He encouraged us all to take responsibility and stop worrying about authority in the workplace, and make positive change by creating the relevant, engaging, and exciting content that we are all capable of.

In addition to the keynote there were a plethora of educational sessions available throughout each day. I attended a session titled “The Neuroscience of Memorable Content” given by Dr. Carmen Simon, from Rexi Media. I sat beside 2,000 other marketers and learned about the effects of dopamine on the brain and how this could be applied to content marketing. Dr. Simon explained that if digital marketers are able to tap into this dopamine, then they are bound for success. The question was how to tap into your target audience’s dopamine. She explained that through a decade of experiments she and her team had concluded that offering an enticing reward increases dopamine levels, and that refusing the reward shortly after, further increases dopamine levels. The digital marketers in the audience were tasked with creating content focused on this concept of offering rewards.

I also attended a session titled “The Top Ten Social Media Advertising Hacks of All Time” given by Larry Kim, Founder & CTO of Wordstream. Kim explained the concept of “finding unicorn content” and his methods for success. Kim explained that unicorn content is social media content that does well organically and will do even better with a paid boost. He explained that in order to measure the effectiveness of content with your social media audience, simply send it out. Measure how well the content does organically, and if it does well, push it even further with paid social advertising. Often times marketers will focus on boosting posts randomly or boosting posts that haven’t done well organically – “DON’T DO THIS”, Kim explained. He stated that it isn’t advantageous to simply take a social media advertising budget and split it evenly through all posts. He said that there was no reason to break the bank, but instead encouraged us all to find our unicorn content and let it fly with a few extra bucks.

Shayna Santoro, Director of Marketing Communications:

For someone who’s been to a lot of trade shows and conferences in my 15 year marketing career (yikes!), this is definitely the first time I stepped onto the exhibit hall floor and I was convinced I was in a nightclub (complete with a DJ), and not an exhibit hall.

What I personally liked more about INBOUND was the sessions actually delivered upon what they said they would. So many times you take time away from your busy schedule to attend a conference and in the end are frustrated that you did because you did not learn what you expected. My favorite session was “How to Use Media Relations to Drive SEO” by Gini Dietrich, the founder of the communications firm, Arment Dietrich, and author of Spin Sucks, because she provided real tangible take away tips that were explained perfectly and you could put them into use right away. My least favorite part was the back to back sessions with little time in between to make it to the next one. Long lines were everywhere and you weren’t sure which line was for which session. And a tip for folks for next year, food disappears around 3:30 pm, exactly the time you need something to get you through the rest of the day. So bring some extra energy bars next year.

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