INBOUND 2021 - Day 2

Carly Thurlow, Digital Marketing Manager, Team Lead
Derek Cummings, Digital Marketing Consultant
Posted on Oct 13, 2021

Day two of INBOUND is wrapped up, and today’s content did not disappoint.

Day two, check! Today’s sessions covered everything from digital marketing strategies to ballet stretches. Check out what Imarcians Carly Thurlow and Derek Cummings have to say about their sessions today.

Carly: INBOUND as a Digital Marketer

Was today the best day ever? It’s definitely debatable…

As I was browsing the sessions for day two of INBOUND 2021 I was excited to see there would be two debates that focused on different areas of digital marketing. Below you’ll find my key takeaways from each session and (my opinion on) the ultimate winner of each.

Account Based Marketing (ABM) vs. Content Marketing 

The first debate was about the effectiveness of account-based marketing (ABM) versus content marketing. The session was led by SmartBug Media’s Senior Inbound Marketers, Stephen Lackey and Molly Rigatti. 

Team ABM: 

  1. ABM will up your personalization game. With this approach, you flip the inbound marketing funnel. You create content for a specific person rather than an entire lead pool.

  2. ABM is very much quality over quantity. This approach focuses on the important, qualified accounts, and it allows you to (hopefully) build relationships with key decision makers.

  3. Shorter sales cycles. Although this wasn’t directly touched upon in the debate, using ABM often leads to shorter sales cycles if successful.

Team Content Marketing:

  1. Content marketing allows you to cast your net to a bigger lead pool. While you can still target specific personas, this approach allows you to attract others at the same time.

  2. Content marketing is often evergreen and effective. You can implement tools like lead scoring and progressive profiling in an automated and scalable fashion to ensure you’re eliminating unqualified leads along the way.

  3. Content marketing is much more future-proof. 3rd party cookies are going away, and ABM relies heavily on that data.

The WINNER: It’s Content Marketing for me. Although, at the end of the day, it truly depends on your business goals.

LinkedIn Organic vs. LinkedIn Ads

My second debate of the day was led by LinkedIn Business Accelerator Judi Fox. LinkedIn organic expert Michaela Alexis went head to head with LinkedIn advertising pro AJ Wilcox. On the heels of this debate, I was team ads but Michaela had some great insight on the side of organic.

Team Organic: 

  1. It’s FREE! The price tag on LinkedIn Ads isn’t cheap. As long as you have a well-thought-out strategy, using LinkedIn organically can help drive your business goals. 

  2. It’s all about building trust. Be strategic when adding people to your network, build it slowly, and most importantly, learn from your connections.

  3. Content is important in more ways than one. Think about how you want to optimize your company page but keep in mind the importance of thought leadership from your C-suite. Personal profile posts should be considered top of the funnel, whereas company page posts will be lower funnel.

Team Ads: 

  1. Be prepared to spend money. While LinkedIn ads are great, they are expensive so go into it with a larger budget in mind. The recommended budget from the pro himself: no less than $5,000 per month. 

  2. Your content needs to be very specific. Craft messaging that resonates with your audience and their needs, from headlines to ad copy to imagery. Your generic CTA will not work on LinkedIn. Craft an offer that resonates with your audience and connects them with your product. Content is the most important element of success!

  3. Technical tips for campaigns: Disable audience expansion – this is the most expensive way to bid. While LinkedIn recommends an audience size of 300,000, the most effective audience size is about 20,000-80,000.

THE WINNER: It’s a draw for me. It all depends on your budget. In my eyes, you can utilize both organic and paid strategies to drive your business goals.

Derek: INBOUND through a Paid Search & Paid Social Lens

Neha Chadha from Google & Kasim Aslam from Solutions 8 left some big shoes to fill after day one, but I’m happy to announce that day two did not disappoint!

If I could wrap up my experience at Inbound thus far in a few words, I’m leaning towards captivating and thought-provoking. The speakers have been rock-solid and presentations have been a perfect blend of informative, yet engaging.

Let’s jump right into a few of my favorite sessions from today:

Case Study: Generating Leads With HubSpot & Google

Hosted by Aly Hammonds, America’s Product Lead for Advanced Measurement at Google, we explored the world of offline conversion tracking and a handful of case studies with real-world results. 

Recently, HubSpot and Google have partnered to create a seamless and developer-free connection to help businesses (and algorithms!) better understand conversion quality and conversion value coming from Google Ad campaigns. Boiled down, CRM-driven marketing leads to better results. Connecting HubSpot with Google unlocks a powerful suite of insights and targeting opportunities that advertisers and algorithms can leverage for success. 

Some of the new features highlighted were:

  • Audience Syncing: Sync your first-party data between Google and HubSpot, including customer email addresses and phone numbers, to better understand your lead-to-sale journey. Tip: Use email lists to create customer match lists for search & remarketing.

  • Recommendations: Utilize recommendations from HubSpot based on your account history and similar market trends. This will help you maximize campaign performance and lead quality.

  • Lead  Syncing: The newest feature here! Lead syncing allows Google to better understand leads in the pipeline based on information from HubSpot.

  • Optimization  Events: This one is my personal favorite. Optimization events will send signals from Google when a customer lifecycle lead stage updates, allowing the algorithm to recognize the difference between someone who went from an MQL > SQL > Customer, as opposed to someone who abandoned their sales cycle after completing the landing page form.

The most important conclusion from today’s session was how can marketers help Google understand your lead-to-sale journey? Answer: Offline Conversion Tracking. Kiss those arbitrary conversions like landing page form-fills goodbye! Instead, focus on high-quality & high-value leads so that Google’s algorithm can go to work for you.

Debate: LinkedIn Organic vs. LinkedIn Ads

Switching gears from paid search to paid social, we entertained the age-old debate of Organic vs. Paid as it relates to LinkedIn. Carly did a great job of recapping the main points of the debate above, and her conclusion is spot on. However,  AJ and Michaela did agree that organic can be a great way to test creative formats (ie. image vs. video vs. carousel), explore alternate messaging or offers, and use conclusions from organic performance to optimize paid campaigns. 

I believe marketers need to leverage both tactics to be truly successful on LinkedIn. 

On to INBOUND day 2

Be sure to follow our stories on Instagram @imarcagency for updates from sessions throughout the day. Tomorrow, Tori Roche and Alex Canning take over.

With so many Imarcians attending INBOUND this year, keep an eye out for all the blog posts we’ll be publishing! And be sure to check out our Instagram Highlights from INBOUND for more insights from the conference.

See you tomorrow!