Attention shoppers, this is your captain speaking; we are undergoing some radical shifts in the winds today; be prepared for a pretty swift change in your buying experience. This Inbound Marketing Trends 2014 guide will help you navigate these changing winds and teach you how you can leverage them in your favor so that the winds blow at your back, not at your face.
1. Man vs Machine
A major shift IS occurring as right now roughly 80% of the buying process happens online BEFORE a sales person is ever contacted. This trend of online buying is steadily growing and shows no sign of slowing down. In order to capitalize on the online buyers market, companies need to convince the buyers of their credibility and expertise at the very beginning of the buying experience.
2. A Bit About Data
Data continues to grow and with it the ability to notice trends and draw meaningful conclusions. The amount of measurable data will continue to increase. With data coming in more and more from all different avenues, the ability to pull meaningful trends out of the data becomes even more important. It is all about being able to sort through all the content and all the data and decided what is the most important and how we can use it to bring in business.
3. Content Without Context Is Lame.
Content is raining in and most buyers don’t have the buckets to catch it all. So how do we ensure our content will be caught? Context. It is not enough to just have standard content about any old thing. Companies need to produce content that stands out from all the rest.
Invest in your content!
Content without a purpose is like paying rent. You don’t really gain much in return. Content should be approached strategically as another method of bringing in business. Not just a method of putting information out. What, when, where, and to whom content is released are all factors in bringing in business; you should play on those questions strategically like you would a hand of cards. Which move will bring in the most business?
4. Now Add Some Variety!
Content will continue to transform which makes variety increasingly important. Once you understand how to release your content with a clear purpose of drawing in more business, then you need to add variety. Even if you have great purpose driven content, without variety, eventually buyers will get bored of the same thing over and over. So remember to incorporate different methods of content out put. Consider offering downloadable eBooks, webinars, and utilizing twitter chat and Facebook.
Engaging. Interactive. Mobile Optimized.
These are the characteristics that should describe your brands website if you want to compete on the digital stage. To do this, start by creating a sales-ready website. A sales-ready website clearly defines your persona. It is customized toward YOUR brand; organized and logical from a user standpoint, and offers plenty of quality funnel driven content. Funnel driven content is content with a purpose. This means that all the content released leads buyers further forward in the buying process with the ultimate goal of a purchase.
I cannot stress enough. As someone who actively encourages the increasing digital age, I make a lot of judgment on companies whose websites are still stuck in the last decade. If I can’t easily navigate your site from my mobile phone, often I won’t bother giving it a second chance from my desktop. If I do check out your site from my desktop, it better be clearly defined who you are and what you do. If I’m pleased with that, I want to rest of my experience to be straightforward and enjoyable. AKA, interactive and engaging.
They are called trends for a reason. If you plan to compete in the digital age, you need to update your marketing strategies. Use this Inbound Marketing Trends 2014 guide to help your business and start embracing Inbound!