On 23rd November, the Toast Inbound team ventured down to Oxford to take part in the Oxford HubSpot User Group (HUG). We were greeted warmly by lots of familiar faces from previous HUGs and got started with the evening. We covered topics such as content mapping, inbound predictions for 2017 and how to introduce inbound marketing.
We started with a workshop in content mapping by Oxford HUG Chairperson, Becky Murphy, on how to map your content to an inbound buyer persona. Between the Toast Inbound team, we each took a different client, and mapped out their journey. Although offering different products/services, the basic structure behind the buyer journeys remained constant. We found this workshop useful in helping us create a content map, which addressed our buyer challenges at each stage in their buyer’s journey.
Having recently returned from Inbound 2016, the annual Global Inbound Marketing conference, Kirsty was able to divulge inbound predictions for 2017. Looking back on 2016, inbound marketing as we know it has changed significantly, and the pace of that change isn’t looking like it will slow down in 2017. Rapid technological advances have changed things massively, and our content needs to reflect this. That’s why 2017 should see, for example, 50% of our content in video form. This brings new challenges to an inbound team and skillsets will have to develop to meet this demand for producing truly remarkable content.
Kirsty then introduced us to a whole new topic around SEO. Today, search is far more than just Google. Sure, 3.5 billion Google searches are completed everyday (25% of these having never been searched before), but Google isn’t the only port-of-call for those wanting answers.
Daily, 2 billion searches are completed on Facebook. Facebook creates a “people graph”, and will know the people you interact with, based on hundreds of different factors. Facebook probably knows who your ex-boyfriend’s mum’s work colleague is… Yikes. Then there’s Amazon. With 55% of product searches starting there, like Facebook has the “people graph”, Amazon has the “product graph”.
What does this have to do with the future of inbound marketing? Quite a lot. Instead of optimising for SEO, marketers should focus on HEO (Human Enjoyment Optimisation) and solve what creates the most joy for humans. 🙂
Paul took us through a working case study on how to introduce inbound marketing and the valuable lessons he learnt along the way. Cleverly titled, “How do you move a company to inbound (and not get fired)”, we found out how Paul executed an inbound marketing strategy at LAN3 and how they tackled issues. You’ll be pleased to hear, Paul didn’t get fired, and introducing inbound marketing resulted in high levels of revenue growth. Winner!
A point Paul raised, which echoes a point that a lot of our clients frequently ask, is why they see a drop in lead generation when inbound is first implemented. Fear not, this is completely normal! When transitioning between outbound and inbound, you have to give inbound some time to act as it is a largely organic method of marketing. It’s important to gently fade outbound out rather than completely stop immediately.
We all had a brilliant evening and took away a lot from the session. One stat that we heard at the HUG that has stuck with us was that 2 years ago, 2% of all smart phone users admitted never using their device to make a phone call. Fast-forward 2 years, and that stat has risen to an astounding 32% of users. Wow!
The next Oxford HUG is on February 22nd 2017 and you can sign up here.
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