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Top Take Aways from #Inbound15

A Recap from HubSpot’s Inbound15 Marketing Conference

I left HubSpot’s Inbound15 conference feeling motivated, curious, inspired… and tired. I always like to take a few days after events to decompress and think about what is sticking with me and why. So here is what I left #Inbound15 with. I would be interested in getting your take, too.

hubspot #inbound151. There are so many factors that can make or break a campaign. Are you thinking of them or just over-thinking them?

You must get your hands on Oli Gardner’s preso on the Four Corners Of Conversion, watch his presentation from the CTA Conference, or catch him at a future event. You can view notes from the session on, but here are my favorite nuggets:

  • Remove distractions to get a lift in conversions. Simple as that. (Click to Tweet This.)
  • ANYTHING put in close proximity to your CTA is a threat and must be tested.
  • Only 10-20% of people will actually watch your video. Use a caption, always.
  • Also, when used correctly captions under images are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself.
  • If you are going to have 4 form fields, you may as well have 7. Conversions decrease significantly after 3 fields.
  • An email address is currency. Don’t use the word free in your CTA buttons.
  • Get out of people’s way. Reduce cognitive stress by designing your form as if it were the only thing on the page. (Click to Tweet This.)

Simple, right? However, as marketers, we tend to overthink or overlook these key copy, design, interaction, and psychology principles and often fail to bring them all together. It’s also worth checking out his new eBook, “The 23 Principles of Attention-Driven Design.”

2. Personas are humans too.

We always talk about “creating remarkable content” and sharing this with our target personas, but we must remember that our target personas are real people. This was the main lesson I gained from Marc Maron’s presentation as well as Jonah Peretti’s.

During one part of the spotlight, Marc talked about what’s next after interviewing President Obama. He simply noted he is just ready and excited to talk to the next guy. To me, it’s the human interaction and candid conversation that makes his content so remarkable.

BuzzFeed’s content works not just because of their format, but because they are creating content that real humans want to engage with. They’ve expanded their content machine based on what people want – news, food, pictures of dogs… and they pay attention to societal cues.

Personas are important and an integral part of any content strategy, but let’s dig deeper and include current observations, insights, and conversations.

3. You are going to fall.

We all have challenging moments, meetings, and days. Brené Brown gave a great keynote on taking risks and The Power of Vulnerability. When on the front lines of client management, these are important skills.

“I’m not saying you need to risk falling. I’m saying you are going to fall.” – Brené Brown.

The thing that resonated with me the most was her idea of the “SFD” or “Shitty First Draft.” Meaning the story we tell ourselves in our heads when something initially happens. Recognizing this story and even writing it down can help us take a step back and improve honest communication.

Too deep for a marketing post? I’m telling you, Inbound was really inspiring.

4. Do. Test. Learn. Experiment.

The sessions that I really enjoyed had specific examples of A/B tests, heatmaps, case studies, etc. that had clear insights for marketing improvements. We do all of these things daily at SmartAcre®, but this was an important reminder to spend a little more time learning from what we create.

We “GSD” and do it really well, but every marketer should always be asking, “What can I do better?” Then take that knowledge and experiment (and keep Brené Brown’s words about bravery and vulnerability in mind).

5. Did you get the memo on sales enablement?

This message was ringing loud and clear at Inbound15. From Leadin to HubSpot’s CRM and advanced reporting add-on’s, sales and marketing tools are becoming more and more integrated.

But don’t be fooled! SmartAcre has focused on sales enablement and the entire lead-to-revenue process for years. It’s not easy. It still takes time, effort, and communication to get marketing and sales to work together. Even with endless amounts of good ideas, inspiration, and the very best landing pages, if you or your clients are missing this connection, inbound marketing will fail.

Agree or disagree with my key takeaways? Leave a comment!