Grow Your Business Online with Inbound Marketing: Trends to Lookout for in 2018
2017 is almost over, and what a tremendous year it has been for digital innovations! According to a global research conducted by MIT, 85% of respondents agree that “being a digital business is important for the success of my company.” I know you agree too!
Adapting to the continually evolving digital market environments and leveraging the digital technologies to grow a business are critically important goals for nearly every contemporary business. However, only a few companies appear to be making the fundamental changes their leaders believe are necessary to achieve these goals. Let me explain!
It’s all about playing the long game
Many companies have started leveraging the digital platform to market and grow their business. But, the vision is short-sighted and the goals kept in mind are for the short-term. However, digitally mature companies focus on long-term goals, with their strategic planning build over the span of years unlike the less mature digital organizations aiming for monthly goals and strategies. This is where Inbound Marketing comes in!
Fortunately, Inbound Marketing helps businesses align their digital strategies with their core business objectives. It promotes flexibility in trying new digital technologies and platforms to enable the company to adjust to the rapidly changing digital environment and buying behavior.
Having practiced Inbound Marketing for years for my company as well as my clients, I would love to share my learnings, failures, and experiences to empower you with valuable insights that can help your business grow in 2018.
So, here is all that you need to know about Inbound Marketing – straight from the horse’s mouth.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and addressing problems and needs of your customer at every buying stage. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media. It helps you build trust and credibility for your Brand among your ideal customers. So, instead of going out to customers in a traditional pushy manner, you pull customers to your business website through valuable content that the customer resonates with.
Inbound Marketing methodology helps you in attracting prospective customers, convert them into potential leads and close them into successful customers that advocate your brand further in the market. Here is how:
Executing the entire Inbound Marketing strategy can be pretty daunting. For, it utilizes all the digital tactics like SEO, Blogging, Content marketing, Email nurturing and Social Media to attract qualified leads and ultimately convert them into customers. All these tactics are crucial for any Brand to do effective online marketing. However, I want to share the most efficient, learning-based and ROI-driven Inbound Marketing practices you can execute in 2018 to outrun your competition and skyrocket your growth.
So just buckle up and get those wheels turning – here are the 7 Inbound Marketing Trends you need to follow in 2018.
7 Inbound Marketing Trends you need to follow
#1. Integrated Marketing Automation Platform
Yes! You already know about it. In fact, all the marketers are infatuated with marketing automation. This is the reason why it is number one on the list of Inbound Marketing trends to follow in 2018. Marketing Automation makes your life so much easier by automating your repetitive marketing tasks like email, social media, and other marketing actions. But, most of the marketers use different automation tools for various platforms. For example, using a buffer for Social Media, Mailchimp for Emails, Ahrefs for SEO, etc. What marketers don’t realize is that managing and collating data from all different platforms can be tedious, and that time can be saved and utilized in more productive tasks like planning and building new marketing strategies, analyzing results and aligning business objectives with marketing efforts.
With an integrated Marketing Automation platform, you can do SEO, EMails, Social Media Management, Blogging, Monitoring, Tracking, Reporting, Design, and Development, etc., all through one portal. Not only does it save your valuable time, but it also enables you to do your entire marketing on one platform, thus keeping your entire data safe in one place. This brings more control over your overall marketing efforts and allows you to calculate the ROI for every activity with measurable metrics.
Hubspot is one such Integrated Marketing Automation Tool that helps you execute Inbound Marketing with ROI driven efforts. Want to take the 30-day Free Trial? Let’s get started.
#2. Guest Blogging Via PR
It’s a no hidden fact that guest blogging works wonders. It brings in massive organic traffic and Inbound leads that are sales-ready. But, the traditional ways of guest blogging are overused and underperforming. Most of the digital companies are doing Guest blogging as an SEO practice with the aim to generate more backlinks. However, the results are not very fruitful, since getting the maximum number of backlinks is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is to get quality traffic from those backlinks and drive more sales. Here is how you can do it:
PR is the key to success here! Writing value-driven articles with right SEO implementation and then leveraging PR to get it published on relevant sites that have high authority is the ultimate game stealer. Getting your articles posted on high authority sites that are relevant to your industry, so that the incoming traffic resonating with your target audience ensures that your brand is capturing the mind space of your ideal customers and bringing in quality sales-ready traffic and leads. In the long term, it increases your website authority because of the SEO link juice being passed from the backlink. Google recognizes such backlinks from high authority websites and adds value to the site for which backlink has been given. So here is how it works:
- Write an insightful article resonating with your buyer persona
- Implement the best SEO practices
- Leverage PR to get the article published on high authority websites relevant to your industry
So now you know why Guest blogging via PR is the ultimate hack for generating leads and the reason you should make it a part of your list of Inbound Marketing trends 2018 to be followed.
#3. Quora – The Most Neglected Platform turned out to be the most potent one
With endless Social Media sites to participate on, it gets challenging for a marketer to decide which Social Media sites are worth putting in all the marketing efforts. If I talk about generating B2B organic leads, the best platforms for my company have been:
Quora – For generating bottom of the funnel leads
LinkedIn – For generating middle of the funnel leads
In the past six months, we observed a 5% conversion rate from Quora, which is quite good as per a B2B industry standard. Let me explain why Quora is the ultimate social media platform for your lead generation.
Quora, apart from its user-friendly design and community, has a set of unique features that are compelling for all marketers. It shares the features of the two most popular social applications and interestingly combines them. One is the following feature that is added to the question and answer system. So, users on Quora can ask or answer questions and follow the questions and people to create customized streams of information relevant to their interests.
Marketers can build authentic profiles and create thought leadership by answering questions that match the company’s objectives and hence, can generate potential leads. For example, if you are marketing your digital agency and someone on Quora asks to refer the best digital companies for B2B marketing, you can answer the question followed by your website link and services you offer. Solving the problems people are asking questions about on Quora is the most Inbound way of generating Inbound leads. It has worked well for us and would surely bring results for you as well. So, Quora is a ‘must-have’ for your ‘Inbound Marketing trends to follow in 2018’ list.
#4. Technical SEO is the pivot of all your organic marketing efforts
When it comes to SEO, all the digital agencies and marketers are aware of it. But, traditional SEO is not going to get you the full-fledged results you are looking for. To start with, SEO is of three types:
- On Page SEO
- Off Page SEO
- Technical SEO
Traditional SEO techniques of implementing On page SEO and Off page SEO have been well adapted by almost all the digital companies. However, the technical SEO is mostly taken for granted. Technical SEO is the pivot of all your SEO efforts. Without executing ace specific SEO tactics, you won’t be able to achieve the full force SEO results you are looking. Let’s have a look at what all comes in Technical SEO:
- Indexing – Make sure that all your valuable pages are indexed by Google. Prevent indexation of no value pages.
- Broken Links – Fix all broken links.
- Site Map – Keep your sitemap updated and make sure to register it on the Google Search Console.
- Page Speed – Page speed is Google’s top priority and an important factor that affects your rankings
- Responsiveness – Make sure that all your site pages are responsive on different platforms like mobile, tablet, desktop etc.
Make sure that your site is technically perfect to get significant traffic boosts for it is the crucial foundation of top search engine rankings. You just added Technical SEO to your Inbound Marketing 2018 list. Didn’t you?
#5. Social Media Marketing tactics people are missing on Facebook and LinkedIn
Marketers get skeptical when it comes to utilizing Social Media for generating B2B leads. The truth of the matter is that if used the right way, these platforms can turn out to be potent lead generation platforms for your business. Are you wondering how? Let me explain!
While posting blogs and company news and culture on Social Media is essential when it comes to building awareness about your company, posting Content offers and blogs created your business can prove to be a highly effective tactic for generating marketing qualified leads. Those leads can then be nurtured to carry them forward in the sales funnel and ultimately convert them into customers. When it comes to LinkedIn, I would suggest that you not only schedule the blogs and content offer from your official company handle but leverage the profiles of the C-suites and senior level employees in your company to achieve a higher reach and traction. This has worked out immensely for us. We noticed a spike of 200% in MQL lead generation when we started posting from our Senior employee’s profiles. Also, engaging with groups relevant to your industry and target audience will build thought leadership and eventually drive more trust towards your brand.
With 2 billion active users per month, Facebook cannot be left out when it comes to B2B marketing. No wonder, it is the best platform when it comes to B2C marketing, but when utilized strategically, it can turn out to be a lead generation engine for your B2B business as well. It allows you to do in-depth, focused targeting for running ads. In addition to the standard metrics like age, gender, and location, you can also target people based on levels of education, job title or even current workplace – allowing you to reach to your exact ideal customers. The Custom Audiences feature will enable you to target existing clients which can ultimately help you to nurture them down your sales funnel. ‘Dark posting’ can be used to attract attention by targeting specific customers with posts that won’t clog up your brand timeline with self-promotional messages.
So, what are you waiting for? You are now aversed with the tried-and-tested Inbound Marketing trends that can exponentially boost your lead generation and hence overall revenue. Add them to your Inbound Marketing 2018 list, and there you go!
I would love to hear your feedback on the same and if you can share your experiences with specific Inbound Marketing tactics that must be utilized in 2018 in the comments section below. I am all ears!
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