Last week, our leadership team attended Inbound, a three-day digital marketing conference held by Hubspot, one of the industry leaders in the digital and inbound marketing space. If you’ve ever talked to us in person, you’d know that we are huge fans of Hubspot because of their trailblazing and cutting-edge principles on digital marketing, content, sales, and customer success.
To say we were excited about Inbound might be a slight understatement.
This year, the event was held virtually, so we attended from home, but that didn’t take away from the incredible presentations from industry experts across a range of verticals from SEO to content marketing, branding, and beyond. The presentations were so transformative and interesting, that we just had to share some of them with you.
Here are our top 5 takeaways from Inbound 2021.
1. There is No Cookie-Cutter Approach to Marketing
No matter your industry, you can’t simply take a formulaic approach to marketing. What works for some, might not work for others. The key is a personalized strategy that draws on your unique experiences, thoughts, and goals. No two people are the same so no two marketing strategies are the same.
This is something that we’ve seen time and time again with our clients. Although we may have clients working in the same region, or the same real estate niche, each client is absolutely unique and their marketing strategy differs because of it.
The experts at Inbound agree with our position that the key to online success is a personable tone that reflects your unique opinions and points of view. Online marketing thrives on authenticity.
★ If you want to learn more about the benefits of a quality content marketing strategy, have a look at these posts:
- What it Takes to Build a Solid Content Marketing Strategy
- The Philosophy of Inbound Marketing and Why it Works for Agents
2. Keywords are On the Way Out
For the better part of the last 10 years, SEO companies have wanted you to believe that writing content for your website that incorporates as many keywords as possible is the best way to get traffic to your website.
But the SEO experts at Inbound agree with our opinion that keywords are kind of declining in importance when it comes to a comprehensive digital strategy.
Basically, Google’s algorithms are changing. The latest Google algorithm update was the most advanced yet, and as a result, Google now uses a neural network, natural language processing (NLP), and artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand the context and unique nuances of search.
As a result, the content that performs best from an SEO perspective is no longer the keyword-stuffed content of years ago, but rather high-quality, interesting, and unique content. It’s content that addresses a pain point, answers a question, and engages an audience.
This type of content is much more effective at building authority and trust for your brand over stuffing website content and blogs with keywords.
★ We know that SEO is always changing, and to be successful, we have to change with it. Here are a few more resources to get you up-to-speed on the new state of SEO in digital marketing:
- How ‘Dwell Time’ and Quality Content Work Together to Improve SEO
- Optimizing Your Content for Humans (And Not Just for Search Engines)
- Download Our SEO Strategy Building Guide
3. SEO Isn’t For Everyone
Noticing a theme yet? In the past, SEO was treated like a surefire way to drive traffic to your website. It was like a mathematical equation: Put X number of keywords on your website and get Y return with website visitors. That is simply not the case anymore. And as a result, some specific industries shouldn’t even consider SEO as part of their strategy.
For example, if your industry or target market has low search volume–meaning not a lot of people are searching for topics relating to your business–you probably shouldn’t even waste your time on SEO. It simply won’t drive the results you want.
Instead, a better approach would be to focus on authoritative content that positions yourself as a leader in your space while organically answering questions and providing value to your audience.
Alternatively, if you’re in a space dominated by huge players with the time, budget, resources, and authority to spend on SEO–eg., the Realtor.ca’s and the Zillow’s–you might be better served by forgetting SEO altogether and instead focusing on your differentiators and authentic voice as a way to create content that will attract and engage your target audience all while building trust and qualifying potential leads at the same time.
If you want to learn more about content strategy, have a look at these posts:
- How (and Why) to Audit Your Real Estate Website’s Content
- How to Plan Content that Attracts and Engages
4. Account-Based Marketing Isn’t Just for B2B
A recent trend in B2B (Business-to-Business) marketing has been “account-based marketing” (ABM) where marketers can literally create a laser-focused approach to not only attracting clients from a specific industry but to attract specific companies and accounts they want to sell to.
For B2C (Business-to-Consumer) companies–like real estate–it seemed a bit harder to implement these effective ABM strategies. However, by utilizing the principles of writing high-quality content that engages an audience, these companies can also benefit from some ABM techniques.
In a practical sense, this might resemble creating unique client personas or target audience definitions that can then be used to identify unique pain points that can inform topic clusters and your overall content strategy.
5. You Need Purpose-Driven Strategies
One of the most significant themes we noticed throughout all the presentations at Inbound was a focus on being purpose-driven. As we mentioned before, there’s no magic button you can press that will automatically drive traffic to your website and convert leads. It’s a long game that requires attention, care, and consistency.
The strategy needs to be purpose-driven. Answering a question, addressing a pain point, and providing value in a way that differentiates you from the competition are all ways to build authority. Just saying, “We’re going to do SEO,” is no longer enough.
Marketers need to define the purpose of their actions. Whether the narrative is driven by the mission, story, or service–there needs to be a direction that guides both the technical aspect of SEO, such as on-page optimization and the authority-building content.
★ Crafting a compelling story starts with your brand. Here are some fundamental practices to help create the foundation for your content marketing strategy:
- Why You Should Have a Mission Statement for Your Real Estate Business
- How to Build a Trustworthy Real Estate Brand
- How to Effectively Monitor Your Brand’s Online Presence
Needless to say, our time at Inbound was enlightening, reaffirming, and informative. The presentations aligned with our current practices and beliefs. Learning from industry leaders from around the world only helped to give us more resources to pass along to our clients.
Want to get better, more qualified leads and build your authority? Our inbound marketing guide is a walkthrough of the overall philosophy of inbound marketing, why it’s effective, and how you can build it into your own real estate marketing strategy to get better marketing results.