Inbound marketing has exploded in 2016, and continues to be a hot discussion topic among business owners. It’s no surprise: the right inbound marketing strategy can generate incredible leads. What have been some of the biggest trends in 2016? Check them out here:
Why spend time always writing your content in-house when your targets can write it for you? That’s the theory behind user-generated content. We’re not talking about getting prospective customers to write blogs and post them on your site. Instead, we’re talking about getting people to use social media and hashtags to become part of your business’s storyline.
Virtual reality, or VR, continues to be a new aspect of inbound marketing, and it doesn’t seem to be waning. People like the idea of having a sense of being taken away from everyday life. Companies that can harness VR, even in a small part, can help set themselves apart.
Wiser Search Engines
A search engine like Google doesn’t have a brain, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be intuitive. Programmers have been exploring ways to make search engines wiser, and it’s changing search engine optimization (SEO) in exciting ways.
Driving traffic through social media is a hot trend. Billions of people representing all demographics use social media every day. They’re actively involved on popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and company leaders are really beginning to realize just how much money they can make if they develop social media strategies.
Why work harder when you can work much smarter? Automating your inbound marketing helps you avoid wasted time. When you automate your sales funnel, you reduce the acquisition cost of every customer. It’s a wonderful way to improve your margins without losing any prospects.
While some companies are still posting one-time content in the form of blogs and articles (and that’s still working, by the way!), others are developing serialized content. This type of content tells a story over a series of content pieces, and may include several types of storytelling platforms, such as written content, videos and user-driven content.
If you haven’t tried serial content for your own company, you might want to consider it. Not only does it increase the engagement factor between your target customers and your organization, but it can also offer a new sense of excitement to your marketing.
Influencers and Ambassadors
Some of your patrons are true brand loyalists. Why not turn them into ambassadors for your products and/or services? That’s what many organizations are doing in 2016 to drive more people into sales funnels. It’s a very cost-effective way to generate inbound leads without having to boost your sales staff.
How deep can you get into your target market? We haven’t even begun to answer that question, but we’re trying. Today’s buzzword is “micro” when it comes to segmenting your target demographics. Thanks to superior software platforms, we have the ability and opportunity to drill down to seriously pinpoint the people who are more likely to want what we offer.
There’s still a big push for evergreen content, which is basically content that doesn’t age for years. However, there’s also a new move for content that’s topical and relevant. Social media has opened the doors for instantaneous responses to social occurrences and cultural events. This hasn’t been unnoticed by marketers, who are encouraging companies to take advantage of here-and-now content to spur sudden, but controlled, inbound lead generation growth.
Certainly, 2016 has been a year of trends in online marketing, and it’s setting us up for some exciting new possibilities in 2017 and beyond.