Read any blog about marketing predictions, and most will say that social media and search engines will continue to dominate the marketing world in 2019. These powerful marketing tools will continue to be the way businesses will be found by potential customers. Because of this, inbound marketing and providing useful content to those who are searching for it should be at the top of all marketing strategies for next year.
This is not to say that outbound marketing will not have its place. Many businesses and marketing agencies will continue to push products or services to potential customers. The organic leads created by inbound marketing, however, will likely continue to be more effective.
The methodology of inbound
The four stages of inbound marketing are as follows:
All of this is put in place to help people who are looking for your product or service to find it. This should lead to them becoming customers and then to positive word of mouth.
Why will inbound marketing continue to be important?
Quite simply, the general public is a lot smarter than advertisements these days. They are bombarded by them, and in turn, sick of them. People rarely pay attention to outbound advertising unless they are genuinely in need or interested in the product or service. It’s a vast pool for marketers, the spray and see what sticks effect. Inbound marketing is about playing smarter, not harder. People are less likely to be frustrated by an advertisement if they are looking for it.
By understanding the consumer and their requirements, by gathering information, you are more likely to be spending your time on potential customers that will convert.
How to market effectively
- Content-based on understanding who the customer is and what they are looking for
- Content that will engage
- A positive experience which will create trust and lead to good word-of-mouth
The cost benefits
Inbound marketing is the most time-efficient and cost-effective form of marketing. By tailoring your marketing strategy, and in effect your team, you are putting the budget towards a more significant outcome. Instead of paying a staff member to make cold calls, likely to people who are entirely uninterested or not in need of your product, you could be paying for a blog or targeted ad campaign to a demographic that IS looking.
To achieve this, consider that inbound and content marketing are intertwined and necessary for one another to succeed. The content aspect is how you attract potential customers that will be relevant to your business. Think of this as a subset of the inbound marketing methodology; you apply it to the strategy of things like your web design and mailing list management.
Information gathering about a potential purchase dominates the buyer journey, and this will likely grow as we move forward. Assessment and research of options is made easy by the wealth of information on the internet; this is where you should be positioning your products, in the hot spot where people are looking and will continue to look more and more. The early stages of the customer journey require your content to be informative.
Use tools such as:
- Instructional videos
- Case Studies
- Data Sheets
- Fact collection
In the selection phase, you can hook them in with an offer. It could be a free trial, discount code or demo video to help to complete the transaction. Your content is your bait. It brings in the traffic to which you will then advertise your product.
Marketing trends in 2019
We can assume that the advancements in technology will continue to keep marketers on their toes into the new year (and beyond). Our marketing strategies must continuously evolve. Platforms like Facebook will advance the targeting of people’s current interests, video advertising will grow significantly, and more avenues to market through will be created. Account-based marketing is the new standard.
Instagram will also continue to provide more marketing avenues, ones that will be far less subtle than when the platform first began (it’s already the case). The use of influencers will rise, there will be more blatant ads in our feeds, and it will be harder to be clever with your marketing. You could argue that from a consumer perspective, the raise in the bar will make for better more efficient advertising.
Onward and upward
Smart homes, wireless speakers, continually upgrading phones, all of it will continue to grow. Align your inbound marketing with technological advances, and you will be fine.
It is important to remember that smart and unique marketing strategies that utilise technological trends will always work well. However, content is still king. As 2019 approaches, information will continue to be readily accessible and authoritative. Ensuring that you continue to offer your current and potential customers a service, product or information that benefits them and makes their lives easier should be your number one priority if you want your business to get out in front of the competition and thrive.
Head of Digital Marketing
Perpetual Strategic Services
Marketing the Middle East in the Digital Age