Last Wednesday, our digital marketing team headed down to Oxford for the first ever UKHug, an inbound marketing conference for a community of business owners, marketing and sales professionals. The UKHug event organised 9 individual speakers to inspire vision, collaboration and learning to grow companies and embrace the impact of inbound marketing and the impact that it can have on an overall marketing strategy. 
With so many great people in one room, there was learning a plenty. Here we've broken down our highlights:

Let your buyer personas be the foundations of your inbound marketing strategy

The first speaker, Richard Lear from Digital 22, kicked off the conference with an outline on buyer personas and the importance of creating these as the foundation to any digital marketing campaign. Buyer personas help to define the metrics of your target audience beyond the typical demographic data such as age, gender, location etc. Personas delve much further into consumer behaviour to educate you as to the best methods of interacting with your audience so you can be sure that you are promoting the best and most relevant content to the right people, at the right time on the best platform. 
Without personas, Richard delved into the habit that many people fall into of creating content for the 'decision' stage of the buyer's journey - going in for the heavy sell of services and products and self-promotion. So the discussion that this isn't always what your target audience may want to read at that time or stage in their research / buying cycle should really strike a chord. 

"How to rank first for chocolate"

Vaughn Armstrong from Toast Inbound then presented an interesting topic, "How to rank first for chocolate". An intriguing topic but also one that also raised a number of questions on the relevancy of search, and the importance of sub-brands. 
Vaughn stressed the importance of having a business strategy and allowing this to educate how you would sell differently to different people, for example as a chocolate supplier looking to raise sales of your new product, you would approach Tesco HQ completely differently to how you would present to your local garden centre. This was a point that resonated with other presentations tying everything together around the buyer personas and the visitor's intent. 

Growth Driven Design 

Ross Lauder from Get Focused then reinforced the message that your brand and your website is your number one marketing asset, and should be your number one sales person. For this reason it is important to constantly review it, analyse it and, where necessary, improve it. 
It goes without saying but Ross' statement that you should always have a strategy in place for why you are designing a new website had us all agreeing, as without a purpose, strategy or goal then a redesign doesn't have a purpose or a reason. So with this in mind, ensure that your new web design is growth-driven, and not simply traditional, ie: designing for design sake. 
We learnt a lot at the UKHug, and met some fantastic people who we will be sure to keep in touch with. If you or your company are interested in what Inbound Marketing can do for your company, or would like a no-obligation chat with one of our team about your website or digital marketing, then give us a call. We love what we do, and are always happy to talk through new ideas or projects. 
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Written by Emma Puzylo September of 2016