25+ things we learnt from HubSpot's first-ever virtual INBOUND

Instead of flying over to Boston, we had a virtual INBOUND conference in our own office. Here's everything we learnt.

Written by Rebecca Hope
INBOUND 20 |   4 minute read

From social distancing to remote working - so far, 2020 has been filled with a variety of new experiences for us all. Included in that was the first ever virtual INBOUND. 

Normally, we'd send a group of the D22 team to see INBOUND live in Boston. This year, it was completely virtual and we set up our own projector so we could watch it as a team.

It was a great first for us, as the whole team could get involved. We asked our team to submit some of their biggest takeaways from the amazing talks, presentations and panels they (virtually!) attended. 

What are the  biggest learnings you took away from this year’s conference?

  1. Don't ask your potential customers for too much right away! Small asks can lead to getting a bigger yes and when a customer says yes once, they're more likely to say yes again in the future.

  2. Channel consistency across all platforms. Easy to say but with your blog, website, social channels etc, there are a lot of channels where an inconsistent tone and voice can confuse your readers.

  3. When marketing your product or service, it's normal to compare with alternatives. However, don't compare solutions! Instead, highlight what YOU do differently to create help readers create a vision for the future on how YOU can help.

  4. When you want to express opinions with your team, agree that you're going to disagree beforehand so an environment where there's conflict feels normal and more like discussions.

    Hold your opinion lightly as a tight grip on YOUR opinion can be polarising and your team feels they can't voice their opinion as yours is correct. Don't use honesty to be a jerk. Show compassion and empathy so even though you might talk down an idea, don't talk down the person.

    Finally, act comfortable when you're not otherwise - our team mimics our discomfort!

  5. The four steps to success is a great framework. Group together similar posts, gather your data, align creators with the data and then analyse, refine and repeat. Great insight also on checking conversion rates by authors in a team to see what's being done differently/get it all aligned.

  6. Let people form their own opinion because people rarely argue with themselves,' from Nancy in her conclusion was absolutely spot on. It's similar to the storytelling principle of 'show don't tell' where saying less is sometimes more powerful than over explaining.

  7. It's vital to show personality in your content - not everyone will like it and get along with it, but that's fine. Because if it's your company's actual personality, it will attract more like-minded people. 

  8. Execs are hard wired to prioritise FAST. They decide in 3 minutes whether they should care about what you're saying in a meeting. In our content, we HAVE to get them engaged in the first sentence. Absolutely HAVE to get down to it.

  9. The scarcity principle - enticing people with content is aided by producing a sense of both urgency and exclusivity. Do not underestimate the psychological appeal of having exclusive access to something.

  10. Create a story, as this allows the reader to draw their own conclusion and also remember to 'spark a memory'.

  11. Never underestimate the way your content looks on a page.

  12. Rather simple really but when you actually think about it, so many people actually contribute to your website. I didn't realise just how many there were.

  13. The growth of every company is different. It takes some companies longer so when you focus on your growth and not others you'll hit your goals not theirs.

  14. Always ask yourself what is the prospect going to learn from the call you’re about to have with them. If you don’t teach them anything, you’re not moving them through the process.

  15. Use the dashed lines to help increase click rates for promotions. Encourage social followers by trading entry into a competition for new followers. Highlight mistakes rather than focusing on promoting our benefits. Use stories to help convert potential sceptics.

  16. How powerful LinkedIn Nav can be throughout the sales process. It can support the entire sales process and if you set the foundations correctly, it can open a lot more opportunity than I thought.

  17. Especially though the power of referrals. Around 65% of business comes from referrals and of which 13% will spend more on average. LinkedIn Nav is a great way to keep in touch with the right connections and create more sales opportunities.

    It amazed me at how many tactics we all take for granted when it comes to the content we absorb. So many little tricks you can apply to allow your content to resonate more with the target market.

    It was interesting to hear how social proofing can support building trust with prospects. It provides us the opportunity to convince people to trust you through the experience of others and one way of achieving this is through testimonials. People will follow others as they trust their opinions greater than if the business told the story.

  18. Empathy is essential and is key throughout any interaction with a prospect and client. Being personal and creating a personalised experience is more important than ever in the current climate. Always ensure customer service at every touch point to meet the buyer's needs and the way that they want to communicate.

  19. Relationship is key. Let your audience know that you recognise them. Build identity first. It may mean that you initially lose followers but these are the wrong audience and by cutting the waste over time, you'll increase the right type of audience.

    Make customers your influences - reward them as they are the ones with the power to refer you to others. 86% of traffic on sites is Dark Social. 88% trust reviews online and will purchase from these. In the initial 8 weeks of COVID-19, online sales grew faster than the last 10 years.

  20. Don't neglect the human element. Interact, actively connect and be helpful and engaging.

  21. Employee advocacy is key - don't share content, take a screenshot and post it, link to it if needed.

  22. The new developments with Hubspot are truly next level. To be a part of this platform in the next 12 months will be really exciting.

  23. Create different versions of content for the platform you're on and cater it to what that audience is expecting. Relevancy is incredibly important when it comes to pillar pages!

  24. Some conversations can be tough. Don't be afraid to ask to pause because when you're on the spot and you put your guard up, your immediate response is authentic/immature which suggests you're triggered by the conversation.

  25. Diversity is the key to a successful team in any company. You need the best in order to compete in the industry. Also, you can still give a world class presentation even when there's a pandemic.

  26. COVID-19 is forever changing so historical data on keyword research tools isn't that useful. Instead, look at real time sources like consumer behaviour trends.

  27. The goal of increasing diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace can be supported by remote working as the flexibility could allow people with different commitments to progress within organisations.

Learn more about INBOUND

As a company, we can’t wait to implement everything that the guys learnt at INBOUND 20 into our marketing efforts for our clients. There's still so much more to learn about workflows, email marketing techniques and creating. So, if you're interested in finding out more, we've got you covered. 


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