Inbound marketing refers to marketing activities that attract prospects towards your brand and converts them into customers. Instead of interrupting consumers who are not looking for your products and services, you can use inbound marketing tactics to get found when you are being looked for by your target audience.
Inbound marketing takes a systematic approach to drive traffic to your website and enhance sales by integrating content marketing with your conversion strategy.
It is growing at an accelerated pace, and many renowned brands are using it to attract qualified leads. 59% of marketers said their high quality leads for the sales team came from inbound marketing tactics.
To see continued success in 2019, it will be vital for inbound marketers to keep up with the latest trends. This post dives into the inbound marketing trends that will take shape in 2019 for you to have a look at each of them.
1. Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is an important component of inbound marketing. It drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. In fact, in the year 2014, 70% of businesses were using a marketing automation platform or were implementing one.
Marketing automation allows businesses to engage customers across various digital and social media channels. It can enable you to approach your prospects in a more effective and personalized way to convert them into customers and delight them. It can help you to gain insights on the web-page visitors, click-through rates, email open rates, etc. for a better understanding of your leads.
Marketing automation is expected to to be on trend in 2019. Centralized campaign management, integrated email workflows, and automated social media outreach will see a rise next year.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way inbound marketing is done. It is helping businesses to come out with a more targeted campaign, personalize their marketing efforts and increase ROI.
Artificial intelligence is behind the searches you do on the internet and the feeds and stories you see on social media platforms. According to Salesforce, AI use will grow more than 50 percent over the next two years. AI will let you analyze customers’ data and automate clients’ interaction. Chatbots, for example, is allowing businesses to reach out and help the visitors, and improve customer relations.
Inbound marketers can automate their marketing processes and convert their leads into sales based on the insights received from predictive analytics. In 2019, businesses are expected to leverage the benefit of AI to understand their customers in a better way and power their marketing efforts to enhance conversions.
3. Interactive Content
Content that has an interactive element and allows users to participate in it is referred to as interactive content. It is an effective way to offer real value to users, and engage with them. Interactive content can convert buyers 70% of the time, compared to just 36% for passive content.
You can create interactive content like infographics, quizzes, trivia, polls/surveys, etc. to attract users towards your brand. You can even create interactive eBooks or whitepapers to educate your users. Below is the example of History channel’s “Ultimate History Quiz”:
Image Source: History.com
Interactive content can help you in driving awareness, allowing users to recognize your brand easily. You can deepen connections with your existing customers and encourage your audience to act by making forums, organizing events and sending them newsletters.
Inbound marketers are expected to use more of interactive content next year for higher engagement rate and increased brand loyalty.
4. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging as a part of inbound marketing strategy will see a rise next year. It can bring in organic traffic and inbound leads, helping boost your business’ authority and credibility and make your brand known to a larger audience. Guest blogging can give you exposure to sites that have huge followings. Below is the engagement that people get on their posts on SEMrush blog:
Image Source: SEMrush
Guest blogging can work well for growing your social media following and increasing the number of social shares. You can extend your online reach and win the trust of your target audience. Your content becomes more discoverable to search engines. By getting backlinks from guest blogs, you can even rank higher on search engines.
Micro-influencers are individuals on social media with followers between 1,000 to 100,000. These individuals are influential and knowledgeable with a strong following. People consider the recommendations of micro-influencers authentic. In fact, 82% of consumers are highly likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer.
By partnering with micro-influencers, you can promote your brand and reach their dedicated followers in your niche, rather than masses. This makes it easier for you to connect with your target audience and achieve a higher engagement rate.
Shoe of Prey, for example, chose a micro-influencer Blair Fowler, a beauty video blogger to host a giveaway on her YouTube channel, which led to an increase in its sales by 300%!
Image Source: Conversio
The content of micro-influencers are tailored to their niche, and they are admired by their followers. Their voice is heard due to their credibility in their area of expertise, which can be beneficial for your business. By including micro-influencers in your inbound marketing strategy in 2019, you will be able to boost awareness and conversion.
6. Video Marketing
Videos can enable marketers to deliver a large amount of information in an engaging way to their target audience, ensuring a high level of retention. They also have a great virality potential. Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. Businesses can use videos for their Q&A sessions, webinars, product demos, clients’ testimonials, etc.
Video is the most preferred content, with a potential to boost conversion and sales, build trust, increase engagement, encourage social shares and enhance ROI.
Consumers are 64% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video about it. A video can capture the attention of users and help in increasing the visibility of your brand. It can enable viewers to connect with your brand easily, encourage them to act and evoke emotions effectively. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users.
Live streaming as a part of video marketing strategy is gaining popularity too and businesses are using it on social media platforms to create brand awareness and attract leads.
According to Livestream, 80% people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% would prefer live video over social posts. You can interact with your viewers in real-time, reach a wider audience and improve relationship with your customers by incorporating live video streaming in your inbound marketing strategy in 2019.
7. Mobile Inbound Marketing
Creating mobile-friendly content is on trend this year and will continue through 2019. Due to the growing adoption of smartphones, mobile internet use has become much easier and quicker for users. Mobile accounted for 50.3% of all global web traffic in 2017.
Businesses are creating content that is more engaging and relevant for users in their smartphones. Mobile content can be easily shared with other users, giving you huge viral benefits.
To attract your target audience, you will have to build responsive websites, create lightweight videos that can play well on mobile phones, and develop apps that are consumer-focused. If you don’t tailor your website for mobile users, you will be losing potential leads. Google also gives an additional ranking boost to websites on the mobile search that are mobile-friendly.
Inbound marketers will, therefore, have to take note of this trend in 2019 and ensure that whatever digital marketing tool they use is optimized for mobile users.
Personalization is an important element of inbound marketing to strengthen the relationship with your customers. The best way to capture the attention of your target audience in 2019 is to deliver personalized content to them and increase engagement.
As per a Demand Metric study, 80% of the marketers consider personalized content more effective than “unpersonalized” content.
Amazon, for example, enables personalized suggestions by showing “Recommendations for you” based on your browsing and purchase history. It offers suggestions for similar products to help users choose the right product based on their choice and interest. Personalized recommendations also help the company and its vendors to boost sales.
Personalized content can allow you to deliver the right message to your target audience and show that you care for them. You can connect with your audience on a personal level, which can lead to an increase in sales. Personalized marketing emails receive 29% higher open rates and 41% higher click-through rates.
9. Voice Search
Voice assistants like Cortana, Alexa, and Siri are changing the way users interact with their phones. Whether it is about finding the nearby restaurant or asking about the singer of the song playing on the radio, voice search queries have gone exponentially over the last few years. As per ComScore, by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches.
This makes it important for marketers to incorporate voice search developments into their inbound marketing strategy in 2019. They need to use keyword and conversational phrases that suit voice search queries to get positive results. Voice searches will offer new opportunities to businesses in 2019 to interact with customers to turn them into loyal followers.
Inbound marketing is continuously evolving to adjust to the audience of this digital era. It needs a change in our tactics to adapt to the consumer behavior shift.
You should look forward to the above-listed inbound marketing trends of 2019, and try to keep up with them to address the changing needs of consumers and stay ahead of your competitors. Come out with an inbound marketing strategy that can implement these key trends, and you’ll be ready for success next year!