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UPDATE: The Inbound 2017 Conference has come and gone. Check out our #Inbound17 feed of event coverage and stay tuned for more recap blogs on our favorite sessions!

After a few days of hearing from powerful women, day three of Inbound was bookended by a couple of notable men. Kicking off day three was Ed Catmull (@edcatmull), co-founder of Pixar. Ed shared his experiences with finding new ideas, creative brainstorming, and the importance of failure in trying new things.

Next in the lineup were the last three breakout sessions of the conference. Here are the StoryTeller’s recaps from their favorite sessions:

Why Powering Your Marketing with User-Generated Content is Critical to Your Strategy, Tyler Anderson

Recap by Julia Tiedt

Your days are busy. As you work your way through your to-do's, the lower priority items often get pushed to the wayside, which is why user-generated content can be so critical to your business. Because it comes from your audience or users, it is more authentic, trustworthy, and can even drive more purchasers. Pretty powerful stuff. In his talk, Tyler Anderson (@tylerjanderson), CEO of Casual Fridays solidified this point with specific examples from his own experiences. If a New York hotel is trying to drive business from more families, a picture a guest posted of her child looking out the window at the city skyline is much more effective than a stock image of a child in their hotel. In fact, Tyler says that the user-generated content has a 6.9 times higher engagement.

The best thing about that user-generated content? It saves you time and money because your content creators are working for free! Tyler says that while they aren't going to be professional photos, they are more engaging and usually have a better story to tell.

So, get creative and encourage your audience to take and post pictures of your work. Create fun hashtags and share those on your product boxes or online. Create contests around that hashtag. Have fun with it! Just remember that any content that you re-post or share needs to have the permission of the photographer. A simple message asking them if it’s okay may be all that you need, but still is an important step in the process.

B2B Buyers Say They'll Meet with You and Buy From You If You Make This Shift, Deb Calvert

Recap by Britt Laeger

In any business, but especially B2B services with a long sales process, it’s essential to match your selling tactics with the answers and information that your customers are seeking.

Deb Calvert (@PeopleFirstPS), President of People First Productivity Solutions, shared new research that revealed 30 specific behaviors that translate into more sales and customer loyalty.

The research shows that buyers respond more favorably to leadership behaviors. Here are the 5 major topics in the order of importance to buyers:

  • Enable Others to Act: Buyers are looking for sellers that actively engage them in a two-way conversation that gives them the tools they need to make an informed decision. They want to know the considerations for pricing, the options for specific services and be part of a collaborative selling process.

  • Model the Way: Buyers are also craving interactions with sellers where the salesperson follows through on the commitments they made (like meeting times and deadlines). They also crave sales interactions that fulfill the expectations that have been set forth in conversations.

  • Encourage the Heart: No one likes to feel like they are doing things wrong. Look for ways to affirm and encourage the things that buyers are doing well.

  • Challenge the Process: In order to challenge the existing process, buyers want you to earn their trust first. Respect and dignify their choices before suggesting changes.

  • Inspire a Shared Vision:  Buyers can’t believe in the message until they believe in the messenger. Involve the buyer in the process of creating a solution to make it a truly shared vision.

Here's Why You Don't Rank in Google, Matthew Barby

Recap by Kevin Page

For a lot of people, SEO seems like a dark art. There's tons of misinformation online and it's difficult to know where to start. Because algorithms, search habits and SERPs (search engine results pages) are always changing, SEO is unpredictable and getting tougher all the time. Matthew Barby (@MatthewBarby), Director of Acquisition at HubSpot simplified Google's search rank algorithm into three phases:

  • Crawling is the discovery phase. You need to make sure your pages are built in a way that allows Google to crawl them and gather the necessary information for the next stage, indexing.

  • Indexing is the relevancy phase. It's where Google determines what your content is about. This phase, like the others, has been significantly updated in terms of Google's algorithm. Many marketers are moving to a content pillar/cluster model to take advantage.

  • Ranking is the authority phase. This is where Google actually determines the value of your content and assigns your search rank for a wide variation of search inquiries. A big factor here is your page's click-through rate so don't undervalue the importance of that measurement.

The truth is that SEO is tough, if it were easy, everyone would be ranking number 1. But getting traction in organic search is valuable to every company, so it’s important that we work hard to understand the basics and learn how to evolve as search evolves.

Closing out Inbound this year was none other than actor and professional wrestler, John Cena (@JohnCena). John covered the importance of understanding exactly what your company does, what your role is and who your audience is. That goes far beyond your elevator pitch. He emphasized the importance of loving what you do. “It is so important to put your heart and soul into something, and fail,” he says.

And that seems like a perfect thought to send off our coverage of #Inbound17 week. So, go out into the world, put your heart and soul into creating amazing content that solves problems and inspires people. Remember, if you fail, learn your lesson and move on to something better.


We’ll be coming back to you in the coming weeks with session deep dives and a few more roundups, but until then make sure to check out the new Inbound Studio Facebook Page for more great content from this year’s speaker lineup!

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