With the new year underway, it is critical to make sure your marketing and sales strategy includes at least some form of inbound marketing. Why? 54% more leads are generated by inbound marketing than traditional marketing tactics. In addition, as marketing budgets continue to be stretched, inbound marketing actually saves companies an average of $20K per year than spending on traditional marketing tactics.
Here are 6 inbound marketing trends to watch and consider as part of your 2016 marketing strategy:
1. Automated Marketing will Increase Even More in Value
If you don't already use some sort of marketing automation, you're missing out on a $5.5 billion industry according to brandpipe.co.uk. You already likely spend approximately 50% of your time generating content, so why spend more time than necessary to generate and nurture leads? Use your time more wisely to generate the content that drives people to your product and close more leads. Let marketing automation and automated workflows do everything in between.
2. Inbound Will be More Interactive Than Ever!
While your consumers today desire information delivered to them simply and concisely, they also want to be entertained. Consider leveraging interactive elements to your workflows to keep potential leads engaged as well as gathering critical information about prospective clients. Tools such as quizzes, calculators, generators, and graders can all be used to pique the interest of your target audience, all while putting your hard-working content and research to use.
3. Relationship Marketing Continues to Rise
Relationship marketing essentially sets out to build long-lasting customer loyalty and long-term customer interactions. One of the biggest ways we see relationship marketing take hold is through the use of technology, specifically with smartphones. According to this HubSpot infographic, smartphone users (on average) check their phones 221 times per day. Having your brand, content, and social strategy mobile friendly will make all the difference in capitalizing on this emerging trend. Hint: If your website isn't already responsive, move that to the top priority on your list of things to do in the Q1.
4. Search Will Go Beyond Search Engines
While Google is still the king of search engines, "search" has begun to become quite a science across social media as well. One of the biggest benefactors of this new trend is businesses where instant "buy buttons," as well as payment options, have become commonplace across social networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Inbound can help you leverage the "internet of search" to improve sales, gain more leads, and get new customers.
5. Content with a Shelf Life Will Dominate
If Snapchat isn't already considered a standard in social media, it should be for 2016. The younger generation of consumers requires brevity in all things including content available on social media. Consumers at large have been making this shift over the past several years, but exclusive content with a shelf life will become an emerging trend over the course of this year. Snapchat is simply the brainchild of this increase demand, however, other social avenues are affected just the same.
6. Digital Advertising Will Start to Overtake Television
Television advertising is, in essence, an overwhelmingly expensive traditional marketing tactic that only the largest companies can undertake. In fact, The CMO Council's annual survey reports that by 2018, digital advertising will overtake television advertising. What this means for you is more value for the content you're creating, and a much more vast marketing environment from which to stake your claim in the marketplace.
Where there once were major gaps to be filled between small businesses and major corporations in terms of marketing and technology, 2016 promises to bridge those gaps and bring a significantly greater competitive advantage to anyone choosing inbound marketing as a complement and key component to their cohesive marketing strategy.
Do you want more information on inbound marketing with insight from over 3,900 marketers and business professionals around the globe? Download your digital copy of the 2015 State of Inbound Marketing & Sales Report from HubSpot.