ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

4 Key Takeaways from INBOUND 2015

A few of us at ESM are fresh off a 3-day track at the super bowl of the marketing world, Hubspot’s INBOUND 2015. And if we learned anything, it’s that there is no ‘Easy Button’ when it comes to inbound marketing. There are several moving parts that must work together in order to optimize your content marketing strategy to its full potential. Content strategies cannot work without a strong SEO strategy, and your marketing and sales strategies must be tightly aligned. Without content, you do not exist.

Here are 4 key takeaways on how to play the inbound marketing game:

1. Create authentic content that appeals to your audience. User context is huge when it comes to developing a content marketing strategy. The content you create must be unique to your brand and your audience. It needs to hit an emotional trigger. Start by repurposing existing content! According to Hubspot’s Bill King and Tyler Richer, 92 percent of leads were generated through Hubspot’s old blog posts, while only 8 percent of leads were generated through new ones. And don’t forget about video! Content is king, and video is no different. Especially when it goes viral. Your content must be shareable, genuine, and unforgettable to make an impact. And don’t make it all about you! As noted by the great Jonah Peretti, “don’t be vain as a content creator.” Let people who share it add their own interpretation.

2. It’s not all about lead generation, it’s about conversion. Sure, leads are great, but only if they convert. Top keyword rank shouldn’t be your number one concern. Do your research and choose which keywords are ideal for your goals. Concentrate on quality content that brings in high quality traffic, and ultimately, leads.

3. Choose courage over comfort. Take risks! Be bold enough to fail. As Brené Brown said, “there is no innovation and creativity without failure.” Always test your content to see what works (and scrap what doesn’t). What images/layouts/colors and copy work best? How can you modify what doesn’t to work in your favor?

4. Google Analytics is your friend. Measure for the future, not the past. Sure, Google Analytics provides you with a track record of marketing performance, but what will you do with the results? Just because it doesn’t give you inbound keywords, don’t discard it completely. Look at what pages are winning at SEO, and use this information to inform, then perform.

We are always testing and learning too, which is why we attend the INBOUND conference each year. And, we learn new strategies to help you meet your enrollment goals. At Effective Student Marketing, we know how complex inbound marketing is, and we make it work for the unique needs of each of our clients to drive the best possible results. Interested in learning more about what we do? Contact us today.

~ Alyssa, Lindsay and Julie