The signs are already written; inbound marketing is here to stay. Businesses looking to provide value to their prospects and generate leads must incorporate inbound marketing in their marketing strategy. The ever-increasing domination of inbound marketing can be attributed to changing consumer preferences and advancement in technology. Think about it, just a decade ago, owning a smartphone was a big deal. Today, more than 50% of adult in North American have a smartphone. According to a report released by Canalys, there were more smartphones than PCs sold in 2011.
Access to the Internet on smartphones has given consumers more control over the information they want to receive, how and when they want to receive it. Just a few years ago, consumers had no choice but to consume the marketing messages delivered by brands on TV, radio and print. However, today consumers are choosing the marketing messages they want to receive by following their favorite brands on social media sites, signing up for email newsletters, reading their blogs and so on.
In the coming years, we will see less activity in Push marketing (outbound marketing) as brands adopt more inbound ways of reaching prospects. Below are some working strategies and predictions on the future of inbound marketing:
Mobile Takes Center Stage
Smartphones are overtaking PCs as the number one devices through which people access the Internet. For marketers, this means a necessary shift in delivery of their message and content. While traditional websites are still be important, they have to be responsive to be accessible on mobile devices.
Apart from this, mobile marketing has to be integrated into campaigns on a larger scale. SMS marketing and lead generation via mobile is important especially for marketers targeting local prospects. As mobile advertising platforms like Google AdMob and others improve their technology, more marketers will look towards mobile display ads based on real-time user actions.
Content Marketing Becomes Integrated
Content plays an important role in inbound marketing and businesses have to produce different types of content to improve lead generation. The future of content marketing is even more exciting. For example, socially-generated content will lead to new marketing ideas. As the social footprint of an organization grows, marketers will find more ways to leverage crowd creativity to create interesting and viral content. Marketers will also look towards content curation to deliver more valuable content to their prospects.
Pictures and videos will also be crucial for brands. The rise of sites like Instagram and Vine attest to the importance of visual content. Brands will continue to use blogs to deliver their content but will also integrate visual content like photos, videos and infographics in their marketing. The visual content will be used as an extension of the core content marketing done on various platforms.
Move from Campaigns to Real-Time Marketing
For many years, marketers have been launching online campaigns for various offers. The problem with campaigns is that they are often rigid and cannot be tweaked fast enough to be relevant to the changing behavior of customers. Moreover, campaigns are usually short-lived and are not triggered based upon real-time action or data. Not knowing how your target market is responding to campaigns can put your business at a disadvantage.
In the coming years, marketers will shift from planned to real-time campaigns. Brands will seek to actively engage with users in real time via social networks like Facebook and Twitter and create on-the-fly campaigns based on real-time data. Location-based social networks like Foursquare will be important for local businesses looking to improve the number of walk-in customers.
Personalized Content Takes Center Stage
Dynamic content and data-driven personalization is already practiced by a number of marketers. However, in the coming years, context will become increasingly important in inbound marketing strategy as organizations look to serve the personalized content to their audience at the right time. Personalizing content will be a huge task for businesses and this will also mean having to hire more inbound marketing professionals.
The ROI of inbound marketing is higher than outbound marketing. Businesses have realized this and are quickly transitioning from outbound to inbound marketing. The future is bright for inbound marketing. Which type of marketing are you engaged in?
Want to know where inbound marketing is headed to? Don’t stay in the dark with unprofitable marketing strategies.