Chicago HubSpot User Group’s Inbound 2017 Recap

Since not everyone is able to attend HubSpot’s annual Inbound Conference, the good people at the Chicago HubSpot User Group (ChiHUG) organized an Inbound 2017 recap event where co-hosts Stephanie Casstevens and Deb Monkman, along with a panel of Chicago marketing experts, shared their takeaways and insights from the conference. 

Despite the dreary weather, an enthusiastic bunch of marketing professionals gathered at the beautiful Lyric Opera and TechNexus office building to learn from conference attendees. The local lineup featured: Allison Casey, Laura Brennan, Katie Gutwein, Taylor Roe, Chris Kelley and our president, Jill Wilson.

Chicago HubSpot User Group’s Inbound 2017 Recap

The expert panel spoke about the memorable breakout sessions they attended at Inbound, what they learned at the conference — and what they’re most excited to implement at their companies. To conclude the night, participants broke out into groups to discuss our individual takeaways and inbound efforts.


Creating specialized content is a key component of effective inbound marketing. While creating properly contextual marketing for each segment of your audience, a great place to start is identifying your top tier audience and listening to their hopes and dreams, pains and fears, as well as the barriers preventing them from finding information they need. To find this information, ChiHUG suggests you scour the web to find as much specific language your audience is using.

Now, for content planning. For those of you using 12-month content calendars, have you considered reducing that timeline down to six or even three months? A short turnaround might help keep your information relevant and free up your schedule to tackle more immediate issues.

When it comes to forms, take the opportunity to tailor content to your readers. If you want to actively segment your audience and help bring them the content they crave, begin your forms with a dropdown that allows users to select what they’re interested in. Then there’s no secret what they’re after.


Spoiler alert: video traffic continues to grow. While that probably isn’t news to anyone in the marketing industry, statistics like “by 2019, 80% of all online traffic will be video” serve to light a fire under us and encourage us to jump start our video efforts.

If you’re new to video or revamping your production efforts, ChiHUG noted that square video gets 30-35% more traffic due to mobile viewing. Of course, video traffic has developed at such an exponential rate, it can be difficult to navigate the trends, so if you’re not working with someone familiar with best practices, be sure to build in some time to get up to speed. 

If you’re in need of a video plan, create a video content calendar. Don’t know where to start? Ask your sales team what questions people are asking and generate videos that answer those questions. Don’t forget, live-streaming video is free.


If you’ve tried and fallen short with launching in a podcast in the past, you’re not alone. Collectively, we’ve discovered that traditional marketing to extend the reach of your podcast simply doesn’t work. Podcasts spread mostly via word-of-mouth.

If you’re ready to try – or try again – it’s important to set goals. Find your niche. Find a voice – yes, you need an engaging person who is fun to listen to. Plan ahead, don’t launch with a single show. Upload four or five episodes at the beginning because podcasts instill a sort of Netflix-binge mentality; people enjoy listening to several to determine if it’s a useful show for them. 

What’s your Plan B?

A notable takeaway from Inbound 2017 was preparedness. What is your plan B? What would you do if all of a sudden, tomorrow, your email tactics stopped working? What would you do if all of your efforts failed?

New from HubSpot

As for HubSpot’s technology and features, there’s a lot to be excited about. Coming down the pipeline, we’re about to see: content strategy, campaign reporting, Facebook ads, Instagram, Native Shopify, and HubSpot Collect features being added to the platform.

Thanks to our panel and organizers for a delightful night of education and community.