Consumers’ attention has shifted online for research, knowledge & trust. Now, almost everyone has an online presence, including a company’s competitors, so marketers need something more.
Inbound marketing focuses on creating content that pulls people / buyers towards a product or company. In 2015, companies will not seek to simply attract online traffic, but rather attract the right kind of visitors that are valuable to their business.
According to Hubspot “by aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time”.
So what are the trends for 2015?
Where the hell are my customers?
In 2015, to increase the success of an inbound marketing strategy a company must know where customers are in the sales funnel. Targeting at the right time and as part of an ongoing nurturing campaign offers the best chance. Trying to force the process or overloading the subject / topic will confuse a company’s prospect pool and negatively affect results.
Diligence, patience and being ready to react to leads are crucial to customers’ progression through the funnel.
Content marketing will continue to be massive.
One of the primary ways that companies can establish authority and gain trust with website visitors is to consistently create valuable, focused content through a variety of social channels. This builds rapport with audiences and develops a loyal following.
Focused content not only promotes brand awareness, but also builds a positive reputation. High quality, timely and relevant content will continue to be one of the most valuable marketing tactics and will be rewarded by Google – a two birds with one stone strategy.
SEO + Content + Social Media = Ranking.
SEO and content marketing could co-exist as two separate related subjects. However, they increasingly rely on each other AND social media for success.
Companies who don’t create focused content will see that their SEO tactics become ineffective and may even be hurting them in terms of search visibility. Content marketing has become a large part of search visibility and social sharing starts to play an increasingly important role. It makes sense that the more a blog, article or product review page is shared, the perception is that it is of higher quality and therefore should be at the top of search engine page results.
The goal of inbound marketers (and Google) is to provide searchers with the most relevant content possible. Logically, social shares should contribute to search results ranking.
In 2015, companies will continue to blend the use of the sales funnel, content, SEO and social media, to gain brand recognition, brand authority, and improve customer insights.
The author, Alan Murphy, is Head of CoderDojo at Bank of Ireland Group and is currently studying for an MSc in Digital Marketing at DCU. Connect with Alan on LinkedIn.