If 2018 taught us anything, it was that we should not lose sight of the customer. So it's not surprising that for 2019 some of the biggest trends in inbound marketing would relate to how we as marketers and business owners can retain value around the ways we are connecting and engaging with the customer.
While inbound marketing has always been customer focused, the way customers communicate with brands has been evolving. Insuring our marketing plans evolve with them is crucial. Take the inbound methodology for example; when HubSpot CEO and founder Brian Halligan introduced the flywheel back in September 2018, the marketing world stood up, clapped our hands and welcomed the circular process where customers feed growth—then immediately got to work revising our marketing plans for 2019.
Building plans that can adapt to the customer and to the ever-changing digital marketing landscape are at the core of any great strategy. So, what should you be sure to include this year? Here are the three inbound strategies we believe will be most important in the year to come.
Whether you are a biweekly blogger or just in the beginning stages of creating original content to drive traffic to your site, one of the best ways to raise your rank and authority in search engines is to guest blog for websites.
If you are new to guest blogging, start by doing your research. What blogs do you read to stay informed on your industries trends? What blogs are your target customers reading? Once you know what blogs to focus on, and are also top ranking for your industry, find out if they accept guest content and reach out!
The whole process is a win-win for you and the blog you are guest writing for. On one hand, you get to raise your profile, and link back to your site for potential leads. One the other, the blog you are writing for gets great content from you.
Watch content marketing expert and New York Times best-selling author Neil Patel explain the benefits of guest blogging. https://youtu.be/Ti82laVS29I
Podcasts have become a dominant form of media for many people around the globe who are increasingly busy and want timely, relevant information in a medium that fits their on the go lifestyle. Recently released statistics found that 44% of the United States population has listened to a podcast, demonstrating the ubiquity of the medium. The same study found that podcasts are an incredibly engaging medium as well, as 80% of listeners listen to all or most of each podcast episode they subscribe to.
Podcasting’s unique ability to (literally) get in the heads of listeners has made the medium particularly attractive to advertisers such as MailChimp, ZipRecruiter and Seat Geek for years. Now, because technology has made it increasingly easier to record and publish podcasts, many brands are going all in and producing podcasts of their own. According to Hubspot, 17% of marketers planned to add podcasting to their marketing in 2018, and that number is likely to grow in 2019.
No matter what you and your colleagues are experts in, it would be wise to consider using your expertise to start a podcast and position your company as thought leaders in your field. By doing this, you will be on the leading edge in a medium that not even reached its full potential for marketers yet. It may not quite be the ground floor at this point, but you will be getting in early enough that you will likely be ahead of your peers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is a broad term that refers to a number of ways that a machine “perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals.” A couple of ways that marketers are utilizing this technology include:
- Chatbots – which automates some of the customer service aspects on your website by giving basic answers to frequently asked questions.
As a HubSpot-certified agency, WaterStreet Creative has access to the company’s use of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning that provides services such as:
- Content Strategy – Which machine learning to understand the themes that search engines associate your content with.
- Predictive Lead Scoring – Which builds a custom model and scores every contact in your database, telling you who is most likely to buy.
- Data Enrichment – Which enriches each record with dozens of useful details about a contact and their company.
AI requires a certain level of technical expertise to master, but the sooner you get ahead of this trend and start using it to your advantage, the sooner you will have a massive leg up on the competition.
Learn more about how these tools can be incorporated into your organization’s marketing efforts!