Minotaurs & Remarketing: INBOUND 2017
Last month, I headed to Boston – to where “my people” live, according to my coworker and good friend, Ariel Miller – for the annual INBOUND marketing conference. For three days, I soaked it all in as marketers from across the country discussed everything content and data. From ranking on Google to the death of email to successful A/B testing, there was a lot to cover. Here’s a look at the talks that left me with a lasting impression.
At INK, analytics and research are critical components of our programs. Whether digging into the bowels of social media to uncover new insights for our existing programs or conducting stakeholder interviews and competitor research to get the crux of our messaging and positioning, we’re always looking to back our observations with data. The first morning, I headed over to Michael Bartholow’s talk on Data-Driven Remarketing. Michael provided a deep dive into how we can identify personas for content marketing, create audiences in Google Analytics and remarket to similar audiences with AdWords search and display to increase conversions and move more folks along the buyer journey. His talk renewed my belief in what we do at INK – apparently, 70 percent of marketing projects do not use analytics to make a decision – and gave me new respect for our research department, upon whom I rely heavily :).
Content for Every Facet of The Organization
Later that day, I made my way to Influence & Co. founder Kelsey Meyer-Raymond’s talk on using content as a tool for every department for your business. As our teams evolve at INK, we find ourselves becoming more intrinsic, not just to our client contacts, but to different members in departments all over the business. Our content services run the gamut from providing thought leadership content to executives to arming sales teams with lead generation materials to developing employee FAQs, email templates, and presentations to supplement a change management strategy. Kelsey spoke my language. She relayed the importance of involving the expert in your writing process while doing your research to ensure you can ask smart questions during stakeholder interviews. She also insisted that all thought leadership content needs to come from a person in the organization because, well, companies don’t have ideas, people do.
Messaging and the Red Thread
Creating compelling messaging for our clients is something we pride ourselves on here at INK. It’s the first step to get to The Good Stuff. Understanding the nuances of who your company is, how you talk about that, and why it matters ensures not just that everyone’s singing from the same hymn sheet, but that you’re not just spouting the same “me-too” message as everyone else. Without solid brand positioning, it’s hard to make things make sense for your client and their audience(s). While we have a robust messaging process in place, I’m always curious to see how we can evolve what we know. Tamsen Webster’s talk “What’s Missing from your Message” offered great food for thought. She discussed the importance of going beyond problem – solution messaging to think differently and figure out the red thread, i.e., the revolutionary idea or “why” that matters more to your customers than the solution. As a Greek mythology buff back in the day, I was all ears as she took us through her analogy of Ariadne’s Thread and the Path through the Labyrinth to the Minotaur.
Content and content marketing can be its own monster of sorts and staying up-to-date on the latest and greatest takes an army of experts. I learned a few new tricks from the conference, but mostly, I left feeling reaffirmed that while nobody has all the answers, our team is very much on the right track.