Getting more traffic, and therefore more lead conversions, are among the top concerns of inbound marketing–so say 63% of internet marketers. To help your business succeed in 2017 and beyond with these challenges, we’ve compiled a list of trends you can focus on right now.
We know you’re eager to build your business through inbound marketing. Continue reading to learn more about each of these trends.
Inbound Marketing Trends for 2017
Let’s take some time to examine each of the above trends and why they’re important.
“Hey, Siri,” “Ok, Google,” and “Alexa” are just some of the ways users are waking up digital assistants. No matter the device, voice search is becoming more and more popular. Adapting your SEO tactics to accommodate voice search can get more visitors to your website, as can focusing on customers and what they want.
To do this, tailor your long tail SEO keywords to match phrasing of questions that people would say instead of typed out phrasing you’ve been using. Do this and you’ll welcome more visitors to your website, particularly from mobile devices.
Long-Form, Editorial Blogging
People still love shareable content. Some of the most engaging content from the past year isn’t bite-sized snackable blog posts that merely answer a few questions. Filling blogs with longer, researched and topical deep-dive content will keep readers coming back for more. That’s how traditional news organizations are maintaining their publishing market share.
You must still write in a personable tone and educate your potential customers, but use a mixture of long-form postings with your short-form, 500-word articles to keep engagement running strong.
The percentage of Fortune 500 companies with public blogs has been growing since 2011, particularly those that are running larger content marketing operations, so just because there are new trends on the horizon doesn’t mean you should dump your blog.
Visitors to your website want to engage with your company–that’s why they’re there. At the very least you should be offering the simple forms of interactions like responding to comments or asking them to answer polls. Interactive resources like product cost savings calculators, or some other direct input tool is a great way to keep them interested (It’s also a great lead-generation tool as well).
On the content marketing side–share an interactive infographic that the reader can add inputs to and get new information. They’re more likely to visit and stick around longer if there’s something for them to do, as well as share the content with others with their own unique circumstances. Interactive content is quickly becoming essential to keeping your viewer’s attention and making their experience even better.
Give Customers Ease of Use
User experience, or UX, is everything this year. More and more web development agencies are being hired to overhaul sites for faster load times, mobile responsiveness, and general ease of use. This is vital for websites that are working to cut down on bounce rates, increase view times, and funnel buyers to a sale.
Sometimes companies will forgo optimization testing for what they think is the right strategy. Do not be afraid to A/B test various elements of your website to ensure the best possible engagement of your customers. If most of your customers respond well to a given feature or design element on a web page, then make that your final decision.
Deeper Social Engagement & Chat Bots
We already use social media to interact with potential customers. People want to get to know the brands they do business with so they can build relationships and trust. But as we start to venture into further social relationships with our customers, we need to be more available.
The initial thought was the be there for your customers on a few–but not all–social media platforms. This was pragmatic since the costs for constant monitoring of a brand’s social channels is multiple full-time jobs. However as the next generation of users has branched further into new platforms, we need a new tool to help maintain costs.
Enter the chat bot.
You can build relationships with potential customers–and measure your success–all with an artificially intelligent computer handling the interactions on social media. While many are still in the testing phase, messaging bots are all the rage right now. And if you feel like being experimental, they can definitely help you automatically answer customer questions or close sales deals–all without any direct human labor costs.
Video Alternatives to Reading
Using video marketing as part of an inbound strategy was all the hype in 2016, but that hype hasn’t died down. In fact, it’s increased. What has changed is this: Viewers expect more creative, more clevver videos than ever before.
YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet, and all the other search engines have started incorporating YouTube videos in their search results pages as well. It’s time to take advantage of your SEO and Content Marketing plans by making video content that correlates to your blog content and regularly releasing that as much as you would any other post.
You can always film clever and creative videos that will entice viewers, but making video marketing a regular aspect of your publishing strategy is turning into a necessity to stay ahead of the competition.
Get Real–Virtually Real, That Is
Virtual reality, known also as VR, may have seemed like a technology too far advanced for everyone to join in. In many cases that’s certainly true. There are ways, however, you can take part in simpler or less advanced (and less expensive ways).
For example, you can provide customers with branded cardboard kits that turn their smartphones into VR devices. You could also map out nearby VR or AR (Augmented Reality) spots that people may want to take advantage of. This last one is something McDonalds did during the early days of the Pokemon craze. Leverage rising trends in virtual reality with marketing tactics to keep your business on the leading edge.
If any of these Inbound Marketing trends sound like something that you would like to take advantage of for your own Digital Marketing Strategy, contact us today.