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Content Marketing in 2017: Advice From #INBOUND16 Speakers

One of the most important aspects of any marketing conference is the caliber of speakers, and INBOUND 2016 did not disappoint.

From formal keynote addresses to more casual spotlight conversations, HubSpot brought great thinkers and influencers to the floor to share their thoughts on everything from current events to social media and the places they intertwine.

Below are our favorite quotes from some of the famous faces who made it to INBOUND this year that can provide you actionable tactics to implement immediately in your 2017 Marketing strategy:


We have to take responsibility for this…. We have to take ownership of our history.

Best-selling author and MacArthur Fellow Ta-Nehisi Coates scrapped his planned address in the wake of the previous evening’s election results.

Instead of remarks about the power of self-education, Ta-Nehisi gave an impassioned talk about the election of Donald Trump.

Though some attendees would have preferred a less political speech, Coates did his best to answer the question “How did this happen?” to an audience largely reeling from the shock of the electoral upset.

His answer lay the long history behind building the concept of race in the United States to maintain a “subjugated working class.”

It’s a mistake, he said, to think that race is in the nation’s past. He exhorted the audience to face all of their history, not just the successes.

The Takeaway: No matter what’s in your past (whether your business, personal, and especially all things Marketing related), own up to it.

Honest conversations and a willingness to listen are the way forward in any relationship, personal or political.

Randi Zuckerberg

Work, sleep, family, friends, fitness: Pick three.

Best-selling author and radio host Randi Zuckerberg hosted a conversational keynote with Anna Kendrick.

During their wide-ranging discussion they covered Twitter, Hollywood, self-doubt and influencer marketing.

Randi used her hand-held mic to do more than just ask the questions.

She also shared her own mantra for living, which is predicated on the idea that no one can have everything all the time.

To stay healthy, she says, she starts every morning by choosing three of her top five areas of life to focus on that day — and lets the others go.

The Takeaway: Try choosing your own top five areas of focus, and give yourself permission to deal with only three each day so you aren’t spread too thin.

We can’t create everything and distribute it everywhere. Instead be intentional about every piece of content and distribution channel as it will be even more important for your 2017 Marketing strategy.

Anna Kendrick

Shake off the feeling that you are not allowed to exist in certain spaces.

Tony- and Oscar-nominated actress Anna Kendrick is a naturally funny and personable speaker and it’s easy to see that humor is her preferred mode.

She often demurred when asked to talk about being a role model or discuss her personal inspirations.

It’s not surprising, then, that her best piece of advice was tucked into a funny story about how she used to be afraid of Sunset Boulevard when she first moved to Los Angeles.

One day she realized, though, that she did belong, and she’s made a point to carry that confidence with her.
She did all of this despite normal feelings of self-doubt, which she credits with keeping her grounded.

The Takeaway: Shake off the self-doubt when it threatens to keep you from doing your best work — you belong in your own career.

When it comes to taking risks and testing the waters in new strategies like VR or other types of interactive content, or you’re finally preparing to hire a freelance writer, there is no belonging in new territory.

Being at the forefront when breaking ground with high quality, engaging content (no matter the medium) is not just for the guys with the big budgets. You belong there just as much as anyone else to tell your story.

Serena Williams

I’m not a trophy person.

For all of her intensity on the tennis court, Olympic gold medalist and über-champion Serena Williams takes a laid-back approach to the rest of her life.

When asked by Michael Strahan about where she keeps all her trophies, she sheepishly admitted that she didn’t know.

She went on to explain that she doesn’t focus on her awards and past achievements; instead, she stokes her “insatiable desire” to keep winning.

The Takeaway: Work at what you love for the thrill of doing it well, not for the money or the accolades. As Marketer’s we are always chasing after the next post to go quasi-viral or keyword advancement.

While measuring our ROI is more important than ever, maintaining our commitment to quality content for the sake of Marketing done right is essential to our success.

Michael Strahan

You should be happy where you are, because at some point, you wished you were there.

While talking to Serena about how athletes handle both mental and physical exhaustion, Super Bowl champion and Emmy winner Michael Strahan explained how he maintains a sense of balance.

Instead of worrying about the future and wondering how to maintain his success, he made a plug for simply stopping to acknowledge his place in the world.

All the work to get to a certain point would be wasted if he didn’t stop to appreciate how far he has come.

The Takeaway: Take stock of your achievements and cultivate a sense of gratitude about them — you’ve already accomplished a lot.

Keeping that sense of gratitude in mind when dealing with peaks and valleys Marketing creates, will help you remain grounded while acknowledging how far you have come within a project, the company, your career.

Alec Baldwin

The internet is the death of forgetting. But sometimes we need to forget and move on.

Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actor Alec Baldwin‘s early-morning keynote address treated the audience to his thoughts on Twitter and the ways in which television and movies have turned into content.

He also shared thoughts on the election of Donald Trump, who he admitted he never thought could win.

In talking about the role of the internet in the election — and in the modern world in general — Alec warned that the internet is forever.

What’s out there is there forever, but wisdom may require cutting through the noise to move toward the future.

The Takeaway: Craft your message carefully — it will have a long life once you send it out into cyberspace.

For more Marketing resources on how to craft your 2017 Marketing strategy, WriterAccess has a library of books, guides, podcasts, webinars and more.

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