You may have heard that CCA returned to HubSpot's annual marketing conference, INBOUND, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center this year. With more than 14,000 marketing pros in attendance, it's safe to say that it's a conference like none other (especially for first-time INBOUNDers like myself). If you didn't make it to this year's event, or just want to jog your memory, here are five things I think are worth repeating.
1. "Market unto others as you would have them market unto you." HubSpot co-founder, Dharmesh Shah, preached it in his keynote speech, and it's something we take pretty seriously at CCA. In an age where our consumers are bombarded with information on a daily basis, we, as marketers, have to create the kind of content that stands out from the rest, by asking ourselves: Would this content create value for me? Will it create value for my audience?
2. Find new angles. According to Jeremy Goldman, author of Going Social, “zig” copy has a greater chance of being successful because it agrees with the status quo, but also has a higher chance of being overlooked, because it refuses to stand out from other content in its category. “Zag” copy, however, goes against the grain, and because of its uniqueness and ability to propose a new viewpoint or show a different angle, has a better chance of seeing huge success. The point here? I'm always trying to maintain a balance between “zig” and “zag” copy on our blog. Knowing when to write for topics that are relevant and popular versus deciding to explore new angles can be the difference between mediocrity and out-of-this-world success.
3. Don't ask for followers. It's not uncommon to see "RT me?" or "Follow back?" sprinkled across the Twitterverse, but publishing quality content is the only true way to acquire new Twitter followers (or any kind of following, for that matter). Plus, INBOUND pointed out that many consumers share content without reading the piece in its entirety. With that in mind, we're always trying to craft engaging headlines and choose thought-provoking, yet relatable photos, as those two factors alone can increase shares and views.
4. Optimize your landing pages for mobile. Desktop offers a lot of real estate for hosting information, but when it comes to mobile, you have to be willing to trim your copy to include only the most important, easily digestable information for your readers. Another good idea (one that I first learned from our digital strategists, Brenna and Katie), is to swap out your CTA for a click-to-call button. You'll generate more qualified leads and improve your users' experience. Win-win.
5. Always be testing. To ensure you're sending the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, and in the right location, you have to be open to trial and error. A few testing tips that we find effective, particularly for email marketing, are producing dynamic content based on user data, experimenting with punchy subject lines, and altering send dates and times. A Saturday morning email? We're willing to give that a shot.
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