Five Takeaways from Hubspot's INBOUND Conference 2016
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Five Takeaways from Hubspot's INBOUND Conference 2016
(November 22, 2016)

Written By: Nicole Nystrom

Attending Hubspot’s Annual INBOUND Conference is a content marketer’s dream – from great keynote speakers to incredibly informative breakout sessions, it was a week jam-packed in Boston with thought leadership and inspiring initiatives (and the food trucks were pretty great, too!).

Here are five of my key takeaways from #INBOUND16:

1. Video is the Future of Content Marketing - Here at StudentBridge, we already believe in the power of video, so this was an exciting point to hear at the conference. The amount of video uploaded online in one month  is more than all three primary US TV networks combined have created in 30 years. While this is great news for StudentBridge (or producers of content), but it also means that video quality is paramount . In a world that is constantly consuming video content, production values become a differentiating factor.

Facebook Live was also a hot topic throughout the week in Boston. This is yet another way to showcase the importance of production values but in a more authentic way since everything happens in real time.

2. Story Over Stats - This concept suggests that any content with a story is going to be more compelling than numbers and facts. One example used to support this was the Baby Jessica story: the 18-month old girl that fell down a well in the 1980s. The 58-hour rescue mission was covered nationally by the media, and upon her rescue, an $800,000 trust fund was accumulated through donations nationwide. In contrast, there are 63 million girls around the world without access to education, so why aren’t we able to raise enough money for them? Because “63 million girls” is just a statistic without an emotionally compelling story for people to watch unfold before their eyes.

3. Utilize Human Behavior in your Marketing - One of the most important things I took away from the conference is that no one actually reads every line on the Internet – they skim. This supports a greater need for more visual media, and something to keep in mind when copywriting. Front-loading action words and relying on decision-making shortcuts are two simple things that can significantly increase the effectiveness in marketing copy.

4. It’s not What you Say, it’s How you Say it - You can have the best content in the world, but if it’s not written or produced with the audience in mind, you might not be resonating with them. Two areas of focus that are often overlooked are making your content clear and humble. Use shorter words, sentences, and paragraphs to help with message retention. Write with humility, not by thinking less of yourself, but by thinking of yourself less. You should be writing for the benefit of your reader, not the benefit of your brand.

5. Write it Wrong, Write it Strong, Write it Down - While this point is primarily for written content, this strategy can be applied to any content creation. Don’t create an entire video the wrong way, but try this technique when storyboarding:

Start out by writing the content piece as if you want to get fired – make it too long, don’t take your brand voice into consideration. Then re-write it and overcorrect; make it exaggerated in your brand characteristics. Then find the middle ground on the spectrum and find your ideal brand voice.

Shout out to Hubspot for bringing in some great Spotlight Sessions, including Anna Kendrick, Alec Baldwin, and Serena Williams, and some great surprise guests and entertainment with Ali Wong, Trevor Noah, and David Ortiz!

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