Inbound marketing has been around for nearly 15 years now. And while we have may stories of successful implementation, it continues to evolve. With its evolution, we - as inbound marketers - need to continue to change our tactics, implement and create new ones, and adjust to the client, persona, and goal.
I love the idea of a new year, and because 2019 is now fully upon us, I've outlined five inbound marketing trends below. These are practices we've developed and tagged tried and true - they're sure to be of importance in the coming year.
1. Content Distribution
Content distribution is a term and practice we coined to ensure that the work we do is getting to the right people, in the right places, at the right times - and many times if needed. Distribution is the act of taking the content and getting it posted on the most relevant channels with a frequency that will set the content up for success. It’s all about getting the work out there and maximizing opportunity. This includes all formats of content, including insight and information from downloadable resources, to blogs, to website copy, and pages to videos.
Distribution creates impact. Within distribution, we have two fundamental goals: to target buyers and influencers to ensure you attract visits and contacts, and to gain maximum visibility and engagement within your industry and audience. It ensures dollars are well spent so that we’re not just pumping out a lot of content without impact traction.
We aim to leverage multiple channels in distributing existing and upcoming content. Our team of experts has developed an extensive distribution checklist to be referenced for every piece of content created. Through these efforts, we experiment to find the most valuable and effective distribution methods and amp up efforts within that area.
2. Video, Video, Video
Video is becoming such a prevalent thing in the media we consume on a daily basis that users are beginning to expect it from all brands, no matter how big or small. As video consumption increases, so does the quantity of video on the web. Because of this, creating quality video content has never been more important. Creating high-quality video content has less to do with the visual appeal and much more to do with creating content that is relevant, valuable, and impactful to the target viewer.
Video is far more engaging and captivating than nearly any other content format. We see this in some of the recent stats about video. For example, online shoppers who view demo videos are nearly two times more likely to purchase than non-viewers. Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19 percent. Social video generates 1200 percent more shares than text and images combined. There are many stats like this that showcase the success of video. These are all reasons why brands should be investing in quality video content.
Video content includes every type of motion-related content. This could include:
Live action (think: interviews)
Video Blogs (vlogs)
Video Podcasts (vodcasts)
By creating quality video content, we create high-value content for users, deliver the right information at the right time, and present clients as professional and experienced leaders with top-notch products and services.
3. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can increase awareness of your products in these territories and drive consumption and traffic to your customers’ stores and locations. Influencer marketing is a rapidly growing form of marketing and can generate up to 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising and 94 percent of marketers who use influencer marketing find it an effective practice. A study from Linqia showed “a majority of marketers will spend anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 on influencer marketing."
According to HubSpot, "An Influencer is an individual with an online presence who has the potential to influence the opinions and behaviors of your target audience. Because these folks - like bloggers and social media personalities - build a following over a long period of time by producing interesting, quality content, people begin to trust them. They’re relatable, and their opinions become respected. That’s why brands see the value of turning to influencers to reach or engage new audiences - it’s a way to broadcast their messages as told by an authoritative source that people actually pay attention to."
As HubSpot explains, "You can think of it like a summary or road map. Linking into the pillar content is a range of content that covers individual, more specific subtopics, otherwise known as cluster content. Each cluster topic page focuses on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. The benefit of this model, in addition to organizing your site architecture, is that one high performing cluster page can elevate search rankings for all the other pages linked to the same topic."
5. Digitized Offers
This isn't as complicated as it might sound.
What we're saying here is that we recommend you make an offer (or a downloadable piece of content) "digital". Take your current eBooks, offers, case studies, white papers, etc. and “digitize” them by putting them on the website as live text. This works with both gated and ungated content.
We see great value in taking existing content and placing it on the site as live text because it would then be “crawlable” by Google and we’d see the benefit from SEO. In addition, it’s a more modern experience for the user and more responsive for all devices in comparison to the current PDFs.
Our advice? Tackle one offer at a time - ideally, you’d start with one that is performing well and aligns with your current efforts - to build out the digitized format. Then, you'll be set to hit the ground running with those that follow.
If you try any of these tactics for your own 2019 marketing strategies, let me know how they work!
As Director of Inbound Marketing I get to explore all areas of marketing including writing, brainstorming, strategizing, analyzing, and thinking big. My enthusiasm for people and creativity fuels my commitment to creating inbound content that produces positive results for our clients. I love writing, talking, learning, laughing, doodling, and finding a great quote. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, all things musical, and being crafty.