It's 2017 and inbound marketing continues to be the most effective strategy that digitally-invested align themselves to. Towards the end of 2016, HubSpot released its annual 'State of Inbound' report, which you can view here.
Read the report but wondering how it affects you? Well, this blog examines the top 5 inbound marketing trends from this report, which we believe will make a BIG impact to your business in the coming year.
1. Mobile Search Optimisation
Searchers are going mobile, and for most consumers today, their mobile is where the process of discoverability/awareness starts. Desktop searches are almost non-existent over weekends when people are more glued to their mobile devices. While most companies continue to be invested in SEO and content marketing for the coming year, mobile search optimization is perhaps what you should be looking at in 2017.
Google's move to a 'mobile first index' is already underway – what this means is the search results that you now see when you search on a mobile device are idential to those you see during a desktop search. So, if your website does not load fast or render well on mobile devices, chances are you could lose your covered page 1 spot.
2. Increase in Content (UGC)
Only 19% of buyers rely on a sales person for a purchase decision. So, where do buyers do their pre-purchase research? 'Word of mouth' content, especially content that is user generated, is now the way most brands reach out to newer audiences around the world. WOM content can be distributed through review sites like G2crowd and GetApp, or through professional social media sites like LinkedIn.
WOM is 'in' and brands are creating multiple avenues through gamification and advocacy tools to get their customers to speak about their brand online.
3. Rise of the Video Star
50% of most internet users look for a video related to a product/service before visiting a store or making their purchase decision. With live streaming coming to Facebook and Instagram, YouTube is not the only place for users to upload and track videos. Video will be a HUGE mainstay in brands' marketing strategies this year.
4. Marketing Automation
Email marketing, especially through a marketing automation platform like HubSpot, is here to stay. Both decision makers and millennials prefer a non-obtrusive method to communicate, which is achieved via emails. Email marketing to the right buyer persona with the right message gets more conversions over other channels.
5. Social Selling
Over 42% of buyers indicate that they have communicated over social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter for business. Social selling is becoming increasingly popular, with more and more sales representatives requiring that as their main skill-set in 2017. The line between social and professional networking is blurring slowly.