To many, Inbound is considered the marketing Mecca of the year. Marketers travel from around the globe to get a sense of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of online marketing.
This year, I joined 20,000 marketers in Boston’s Seaport District to be a part of Inbound 2018.
Here’s a list of three of the hottest topics I heard while at Inbound.
SEO is Dead
There’s little that I love more than SEO analysis on a website, (yes, I’m that kind of nerd) so when people start throwing out the phrase, “SEO is dead!” it’s like getting kicked in the funny bone.
This shock tactic has been a favorite of the industry for a couple years now and Inbound was no different. But while the shock factor was no different, the outlook on SEO was different: a lot of people are finally embracing something I have believed for years. Gone are the days of tricking Google and ranking your site where it doesn’t belong—Google has improved its algorithm and changed its ranking methods to exclude people playing the SEO game to the detriment of others.
But while Google has changed its algorithm around, the practice of good SEO strategy through appropriately used keywords that provide clarity and context has never been more important. SEO research and tactics still play incredibly important roles in helping people get their content in front of interested audiences. This hasn’t changed, and it’s been embraced by speaker after speaker as the right way to use SEO now and into the future.
Facebook Messenger Beats Email
One of my favorite brother nerds has always been Larry Kim. He’s a genius at spotting trends before they happen and sharing his strategies so that everybody can benefit.
Larry is the founder and creator of WordStream (an Isovera client), a tool that allows people to control and manage their Google adwords account. He simplifies the complex and provides guidance to those that needed it.
Somewhat recently Larry left WordStream to start a new company, Mobile Monkey, which focuses on using chatbots and Facebook messenger to target audiences with meaningful messages that drive real action.
While email marketing is not dead, chatbot messages have an 80% open rate and a 20% response rate, which is far higher than most email campaigns tend to have.
At Inbound, Larry demonstrated the power of Mobile Monkey by showcasing different tricks and capabilities, and challenging his audience to answer the question “Why kill yourself for a 2% open rate when making a chatbot is so easy and has a much higher response?“
Content Creation is Easy
One of the most refreshing talks I heard at Inbound came from Marcus Sheridan. Having spent significant time in the world of marketing, I’ve seen the changing trend towards content marketing as a key deliverable to gaining an audience.
People, including myself, often complain about how difficult it is to come up with ideas and concepts for content marketing, and Marcus has a solution.
Marcus’s methodology of, “They ask. You answer.” is an intuitive way of thinking about content that simplifies the process of giving customers the content they want. During his presentation, Marcus jokingly pointed out that most people’s secret sauce isn’t really secret and most people’s private pricing is publicly well-known.
To foster better business and relationships, Marcus encouraged us to tell people what everything costs, share our processes in painstaking detail, and educate our customers to the point of building an unbreakable bond of trust.
Inbound was a valuable learning experience—from the people I was able to network with, to the insights the keynote speakers provided, and the lessons I learned. Overall, it’s safe to say, I understand why its considered a true marketing Mecca.