There was a vibe of excitement and enthusiasm radiating though the whole auditorium as the lights dimmed and the projector popped on and started to play this:
Brian and Dharmesh were pumped and ready to rock at this year's conference. They explained that the conference has been growing exponentially for the last three years from 400 attendees, to 1000 and this year at 2,800. I can only imagine what next years is going to look like.
Inbound 2012 had some really great keynote speakers that were on a whole different level in terms of presentation and content than the break out speakers. The four keynotes were:
For any of you who have seen Rand speak before, you know that he is a very down to earth, friendly and conversational speaker. Rand took the traditional boring talk on SEO and spun it in a new direction that was fun and interesting.
He started with statistical data about who on dating websites typically chose to filter their results for taller men, however, the majority of men are shorter than what they were searching for, thus cutting out many great matches simply because of height variable. This bias women have against shorter men was leading them to lose out on some great matches.
Rand then went on to explain that this same irrational bias happens all the time in search. He explained 12 scenarios where either users or marketers had incorrect viewpoints and then backed up his claims with some great statistical data. Here are just a few of the irrational bias topics Rand talked about:
- Ranking 1st on Google is most important – False
- Microdata and videoXML Sitemaps typically get higher CTR
- You have to be actively link building for good SEO – False
- Good content and strong relationships will organically build links
- If you want to rank for a topic, only write about that topic – False
- Have a diverse content offering of anything that could relate to a target client
- Twitter and Facebook are the only networks that matter - False
- Look at SEOMoz's leads: Twitter is 33%, Facebook is 33% and other is 33%. The "others" categories add up to be a significant number that can't be ignored.
- If viral content fails, it's all over - False
- Re-invent the content and chose a different strategy for launching it. There are many different variables that cause things to go viral so don't give up if it doesn't work the first time.
Rand presented 12 total irrational biases that really got the gears turning in the head.
As a self-proclaimed introvert, Susan did a phenomenal job at talking to a group of 2,800 inbound marketers. In her speech she talked about the dynamics of introverts and extroverts working together and the ways they work differently but also complement each other.
Susan explained that many introverts are misinterpreted as lacking motivation or enthusiasm for the work place when this may be far from the case. An introvert can be very motivated but display it in different ways than being loud and outspoken.
Additionally, Susan encouraged each business owner to foster the introvert's quite nature by designing their offices with private work spaces and possibly have a "study room" where individuals could go to clear their minds and be alone to think and work. She stated statistics that contrary to popular belief, having an open work space can actually decrease in productivity.
This knowledge is very valuable for any business owner, manager or marketer because they need to know how to appropriately manage and excite an introverted person because it is different than an extrovert.
David Meerman Scott
You could tell from the first time David stepped foot on stage that he was a seasoned speaker and was going to be presenting an interesting and educational keynote. David's speech "INBOUND now" took a look at the current and future state of the Inbound Marketing industry and where the successes and areas for improvement are.
Speaking that we're on the cutting edge of a revolution, David did a great job of jazzing up the audience and getting them motivated to push the Inbound Marketing movement to the next level.
Gary was quite the breath of fresh air and differentiated himself from other speakers as being loud, in-your face and really funny. He is probably one of the most outspoken and passionate speakers I have ever seen and really did a great job of getting his point across in a very conversational, friend talking to friend kind of way. He also averaged about 1 f-bomb per minute through-out his speech while telling jokes and getting points across.
Gary's speech was centered around the idea that businesses must connect with the user on a personal level and go out of their way to establish a strong, friendship-like bond with their users. He is a believer that as much as we want to think we are getting closer to our customers, we still have a lot of work to do. Creating something special with our customers, over the long term, is huge and will really help ensure a strong business in the future.
"When was the last time you did a random act of kindness for one of your customers?" Gary pointed out. I would venture to say most businesses have not. He explained the integration that must happen between your online and offline Inbound Marketing efforts in relationship to the customer experience and their interaction with your business.
The other keynote was given by Brian and Dharmesh, co-founders of Hubspot. This keynote was especially exciting for Hubspot users because here they debuted Hubspot 3 with some very impressive features. Luckily they have the entire keynote recorded and online below, which if you're a Hubspot user I'd definitely suggest watching.
One of the biggest and most exciting shifts that's occurring in Hubspot 3 is the personalization of the user experience on your site. Hubspot 3 will create in-depth user profiles with each user's actions, interests and website visit paths and based on this information be able to automatically create custom call-to-actions, pages, lead nurturing campaigns, etc. that will adapt to exactly what the individual is interested in. There are a ton of other great features for instance, once a user fills out a form, they won't have to fill out another one when they download another piece of content.
These were just the keynotes from the event, there were over 60 breakout sessions that featured some of the Inbound Marketing world's top practitioners. Over the four day event we picked up some amazing takeaways that I'd love to share with you. They already have discounted tickets for next years event available on their website. Over the next week I will be writing up some really great blogs on some of the great takeaways from the conference. Make sure to stay tuned via Follow @SavvyPanda or subscribe to our RSS feed so you can get this great content directly sent to you.