#KillingIt#KillingIt

When Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah started HubSpot, the concept of Inbound Marketing was simply not part of a Director of Marketing's vocabulary.  But today it would be virtually impossible to find a head of marketing that wasn't somewhat familiar with the general concept of inbound.

Brian was one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Dreamforce event, which is an annual trade show put on by Salesforce.com. He spoke to a packed audience at Dreamfest in a presentation entitled, “Killing It: How Inbound Marketing Can Help You Crush the Competition.”

Here are just some of the important concepts Brian shared with more than 300 people during his presentation.

  • The Marketing Playbook is Broken: The concept of pounding someone over the head with a sales message has gone the way of the horse and buggy. Today, sophisticated marketers are using inbound marketing techniques to build a lasting relationship with their prospects and customers. Inbound marketing is a proven methodology that reduces marketing costs and improves marketing ROI.
  • Track Your Results. There’s an old saying, “Things that are measured invariably improve.” If you’re not measuring the results of your inbound marketing program, then you’re not forcing yourself to improve your track record.
  • TOFU, MOFU and BOFU: HubSpot measures metrics at the Top of the Funnel (traffic to their blog, e-book downloads, etc.), at the Middle of the Funnel (conversations with prospects, repeat visits, etc.) and at the Bottom of the Funnel (conversions, lapsed customers, etc.). By measuring their results over three distinct areas, they’re able to zero-in on specific disciplines that need improvement.
  • The CMO of the Future Will Be DARC: The next time you’re hiring a CMO, you should ask these four questions: 1) Do they live in the Digital world? 2) Are they Analytical? 3) Are they Research-oriented? 4) And are they Content creators? If so, you’re off to a good start. If not, keep looking.
  • Social Media Guidelines: At HubSpot, you won’t find a long legal document outlining their corporate social media guidelines. Instead, their social media guidelines can be summed up in just 3 words – “Use Common Sense.” By providing employees the freedom (and respect) they desire, HubSpot is instilling a sense of trust. Better still, they’re encouraging employees to put out interesting, innovative social media content that would get squashed at most other corporations.  
  • Write Like a Human, Not a Marketer. One of the hardest things for many corporations to get over is the tendency to write like a marketer (or, worse yet, a corporation). But your customer doesn’t want to have a conversation with a corporation, they want to have a conversation with a human. So make sure everything you put out sounds … well, human.
  • Boring Blogs Don’t Get Shared: If you find yourself writing about your company Holiday party on your blog, stop wasting your time. People visit blogs to get tips on how to make their lives better. Keep your blog posts short, easy-to-read and packed with helpful content. That way, prospects will come back for more and, better still, share them with others.

The Bottom Line: It’s one thing to read about the inbound marketing concepts Brian touched on in his presentation, but it’s another thing entirely to put them into action. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your inbound marketing program is as successful as possible.

  1. Test Your Way To Success. Are you conducting A/B Split Tests with your landing pages? HubSpot allows you to conduct these kinds of tests so that you can continuously improve your results.
  2. Write Content that Gets Shared. When visitors share your content, it’s their way of referring new customers to your business. Track which blog posts and white papers get shared the most. By doing so, you’ll learn what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not working.
  3. Trust the Data. Your hunches about what works and what doesn’t work are just that – hunches. Track your results and trust what the results tell you. Mayor Bloomberg of New York City sums this up brilliantly when he says, “In God we trust. Everyone else, bring data.”

What are some of your best tips for using inbound marketing to generate new leads for your business? Let us know your thoughts and share them with other members of the HubSpot family.

Originally published Sep 7, 2011 4:15:00 PM, updated December 16 2013