According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 Global Report, the top marketing challenge for companies worldwide continues to be generating traffic and leads. And inbound marketing was designed to do just that—it’s about creating relevant and valuable content that naturally pulls people toward your brand.
But like most things, it is ever evolving, forcing us to readapt and refocus our marketing efforts. Here are 4 inbound marketing components to keep an eye on in 2019.
Whether you want to invest the money to handle marketing in house or put it toward hiring an outside agency, establishing a marketing budget is important for growth and increased revenue.
In some cases, sadly, securing an adequate marketing budget is the biggest challenge. Maybe you’re at a small company where there’s crossover between departments and job descriptions, or maybe you’re at a company that historically hasn’t used resources on marketing. If you don’t personally have a say, check out 6 Signs You Should Put Your Money Where Your Marketing Is(n’t) and Knock Your Boss’s Socks Off With These Marketing Metrics for ways to justify a marketing budget.
If you do have an actual budget to work with, the basis for it will likely be your goals for growth and the timeframe to achieve those goals. Once that is determined, take a look at how you spent your money last year and how (or if) it paid off. Did you focus on paid ads? Did you hire more staff or outsource certain tasks? Then decide if you should do the same this year or reallocate some of this year’s budget.
If you’re looking to add some depth to your resources, remember that it’s important to plan for not only the cost of new tools (like marketing automation and video editing software), but overhead costs for your team to get up to speed on these tools.
HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2018 Global Report claims that 45% of marketers are planning to add YouTube to their content distribution channels in the next year. Additionally, 41% have their eye on Facebook video and 39% on Instagram.
Video is easier to process and store in our memories than text, so it’s no wonder so many are adopting it as a marketing tool. Also, it’s much more appealing—to the receiver and sender—than wordy emails or unsolicited phone calls.
Plus, according to Cisco’s forecast and trends for 2017 to 2022, video traffic will be 82 percent of all IP traffic (both business and consumer) by 2022, up from 75 percent in 2017. So it’s definitely worth the investment to start building up your video arsenal.
Producing videos doesn’t have to break the bank, though—videos can range in style, quality, and content. Hire an agency to create an animated explainer video to illustrate a complex service you offer, or use your iPhone to film a behind-the-scenes look at your office culture. Variety is good, but definitely be aware of when it makes sense to outsource to a professional.
As many of us are getting a little panicky about losing our jobs to AI, bots can be a scary concept. But they’re not meant to replace human interaction, just act as a go-between. They can play a key role in effective lead nurturing on a 24/7 basis.
Whether you want to incorporate bots for fielding simple customer service questions or for nurturing sales leads, they can really save you some time. Particularly, small businesses can benefit from a chatbot handling basic support without pulling too much from limited human resources.
Feeling like it might not be personal enough? Don’t worry—chatbots are continually getting smarter about interacting with their human counterparts in a natural manner, and you can even program your bot to use emojis!
4. Topic Clusters
By now you should’ve moved away from focusing on SEO keywords because of the ever-evolving search engine algorithms. Google now looks at how well you’ve been writing about a certain topic and ranks your site accordingly. Don’t abandon keywords altogether, but put more of the focus on creating a network of internal links from pages to blog posts back to pages.
We know how easy it can be to let last year’s trends fall by the wayside, so this is just a reminder to continue to bolster your topic clusters and pillar content.