Top Content Marketing Takeaways from INBOUND14 Live

first day of #INBOUND14!
by taraarobertson via Instagram

By Tara Robertson

Last week, three of us from the marketing team at ScribbleLive headed to Boston for a few days to attend INBOUND, a conference for inbound and content marketing professionals. Each day started with an inspiring keynote, followed by hours of sessions led by industry experts. The sessions I attended mainly focused on content promotion and social media, read on for my top takeaways from the conference.

Lead Nurturing Isn’t Just Email Anymore

Did you know 75 percent of marketers' budgets go toward nurturing existing leads? During a session led by Ellie Mirman of HubSpot, she explained why it’s time to expand lead nurturing beyond the inbox. If email is just one facet of your lead nurturing campaigns, what should the rest of your lead nurturing look like?

Rather than constantly filling the inboxes of your leads, try reaching them with some of these methods:
  • Paid retargeting

  • Social nurturing

  • Smart content on your website

  • Offline activities

It’s also important to blend your online campaigns with offline efforts -- I heard this point during several sessions at INBOUND, including Moz’s Rand Fishkin who said it best: “High ROI often comes from non-measurable, serendipitous marketing."

It’s Time to Step Up Your Social Media Game

Monitoring your company's Twitter handle and posting updates a couple times a day isn't enough, you should be listening to what your community is discussing online and finding new ways to interact with them. Nurturing your prospects on social media can also supplement your existing lead nurturing campaigns, as mentioned in Mirman’s session. One quick way to get started with social listening is by setting up lists on Twitter or “listening streams”.

Some ideas to get started:
  • Company or product mentions

  • Lists of prospects, leads, and customers

  • Event participants

  • Competitors’ mentions

While this seems easy to set up (and it is), you’d be surprised how many marketers aren’t doing this yet, and how much it can speed things up if you’re splitting your team’s time on social.

Don’t Forget the 'Marketing' in Content Marketing

If you want people to see the content you put time into creating, you need to put time into promoting it. HubSpot’s Kieran Flanagan led a session on content promotion, and started the session by sharing that 93 percent of today’s B2B marketers and 90 percent of B2C marketers are doing some form of content marketing, producing 27 million pieces of content every day. In this crowded market, promoting your content is key to getting it seen by your prospects.

Self-promotion isn’t only good, it’s necessary. When HubSpot produces a piece of content, they aim to promote it “as much as Kanye promotes Kanye”. If their team spends 10 hours producing a piece of content, they plan to spend at least 10 hours promoting it. 

By treating content production and promotion equally, you’ll ensure your content gets the attention it deserves. Marketers should be treating each content campaign like a mini-product launch, with a plan for promotion before the launch, the week of launch, and ongoing. 

If your website traffic isn’t massive, try paid amplification by sponsoring posts on social networks. Amplify your most popular posts and experiment with the various targeting options available. Don’t forget to promote your content on your own website where you can. Your visitors may not stumble onto your blog or resource center so try to include new content on your more heavily trafficked pages. Finally, revisit your metrics to see which pieces of content performed well, and repurpose this content where you can.

Building Relationships Is the New Link Building

Old school link building methods like paid links and link exchanges are dead and are bound to harm your SEO eventually. This was the main point at SEO-focused sessions at INBOUND by Marketing Land’s Danny Sullivan and Moz’s Fishkin.

Rather than relying on sketchy link building methods, try attending events to meet others in your industry and make real connections instead. Guest blogging is another simple strategy -- reaching out to industry blogs and asking about blogging opportunities can be a great way to attract new visitors to your site through content.

We interviewed Fishkin about his “Why Content Marketing Fails” presentation recently for Engage, and while SEO in now part of every marketer’s job description, it’s important to remember that there are several ways to reach your prospects and search is just one of them.

Four things you can do this week to boost your inbound marketing efforts:

  • Brainstorm ideas for your next offline campaign.

  • Set up social social media listening streams for clients, competitors and prospects.
  • Put together a list of upcoming industry events you or your team can attend.
  • Reach out to a few industry blogs and ask about guest blogging opportunities.

Follow Engage on Twitter and bookmark the Engage Magazine website. Click here to see how ScribbleLive's content engagement platform can help your company achieve its business goals.

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