Actionable Takeaways from INBOUND 2016 Conference

  Written by

Sara Mannix Jeremy Abel Mannix Marketing at Inbound 2016

Last week, Sara Mannix and I traveled to Boston to attend INBOUND- the largest conference for all-things inbound marketing. As always, this is an incredible experience fueled by inspirational keynotes, educational breakout sessions, and conversations with fellow attendees and business owners. Although we brought back a massive list of actionable tips and insights, here are a few of our favorites from this year’s conference.

Social Media, SEO, and Marketing Advice for Small Businesses

Recalibrate your Social Media Strategy with a Social Media Audit

There’s no question that your schedule is busy. As the guy who manages social media for Mannix Marketing, finding ways to keep our Facebook page engaging and up-to-date is one of 20+ things on my daily agenda.

Everyone wants to make their time more efficient when using social media. Wondering what’s working and what needs improvement? Start with a social media audit.

Dive into your analytics to see which posts are driving traffic to your website, getting the most clicks, shares, Likes, and leads. Here’s the beautiful thing about stats- numbers don’t lie.

Once you discover what’s working, you’ll probably notice that there’s a certain type of topic that resonates with your audience. When you find that topic and the content that’s been generating buzz for your business, repurpose that content and then share it on different platforms or mediums such as video, slideshow, an eBook.

Video is a Major Opportunity

If you’re like most businesses when it comes to social media, then a lot of what you’re posting on Facebook and/or Twitter is images or links back to your website.

Mari Smith, a speaker who is known for her insights on Facebook, shared a compelling set of statistics that reflect this message:

  • 80% of content is links
  • <19% is images
  • 1% is video

If everyone is sharing images and links, your customers are getting overwhelmed by seeing one image after another in their news feed. Should we really be surprised, then, that potential customers scrolled right past our photo?

It’s your time to stand out, and using video for social media marketing is the solution.

Posting video presents a great opportunity to help you stand out from the flood of images and links coming down the news feed. Fortunately, nearly everyone who owns a smartphone has the ability to create a video with their device, which makes the barrier to entry much lower for today’s small businesses.

You can bet that we’ll be using more video in the year(s) ahead 😉

Learn to Use Facebook Ads for Greater Reach and Targeting

Facebook advertising is a major opportunity if you understand how to do it well. Facebook remains the most widely used social media site and gives you access to a massive audience. And with all of that data about its users, Facebook gives you some remarkable targeting capabilities to help your reach your target audience.

As social media maven Gary Vaynerchuck stressed in the opening keynote, Facebook ads are the 2nd best advertising play behind a super bowl commercial because of how many people a great Facebook ad can reach at a relatively low cost.

Naturally, there will be a day when everyone is posting ads and videos on social media, and you’ll need a more effective way to stand out. Fortunately, Gary offers some sage advice here: “Creative is the variable of success.”

What’s Next for SEO?

Everyone wants to know “what’s next for Search Engine Optimization” so they can rank higher in the search results. Google is always updating its ranking algorithm (from Panda to Hummingbird to Pigeon).

Searchers are busy- they’re usually in a hurry and want to find information fast, so it’s critical that your website is optimized for fast performance. There are a number of tools and techniques that can make your website faster, some of which include using a Content Delivery Network and optimizing the code on your website.

Voice search presents another growing opportunity. As more consumers adopt voice search technology such as Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home (and we all know Siri), searching is becoming more like a conversation. Searchers are using natural language to ask questions, and your website must be able to provide the best answers to those questions.

Of course, the fundamental pieces of SEO are still crucial for success- from targeting the right keywords and search phrases to creating compelling, helpful content to marking up your website with schema and beyond.

Conclusion

While we’ve been back from Inbound for a few days now, the insights and ideas continue to simmer. Not only does this conference give us an opportunity to see what’s next in the industry, it also lets us see the many areas where we’ve been ahead of the curve when it comes to SEO, social media, and marketing for businesses. Want to see where and how your marketing can be improved? Contact us today for a consultation!

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About Jeremy Abel

As the Director of Corporate Marketing, Jeremy develops and guides our marketing strategy through a variety of techniques. This includes writing about client wins, publishing educational content on our blog, creating email marketing campaigns, managing our social media and online reviews (GlassDoor), organizing speaking events (Mannix Marketing M2Con), and much more.Recognized as one of the "Rising Stars in Social Media" (2014), Jeremy also speaks about inbound marketing to businesses, organizations, and associations in Albany, Saratoga, Lake George, and beyond.Jeremy graduated with honors from Siena College, and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing & Management.

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