We've come a long way since the early days of inbound marketing. When the concept was first developed over a decade ago, it was based on a simple philosophy: build your website as the central hub of your marketing efforts, optimize it for conversions, and use everything else (blogging, social media, SEO, and email) to drive traffic towards it.
Eleven years after its inception, the core benefits and philosophy of inbound marketing has not changed dramatically. But technology doesn't stand still, so marketers have had to adjust to new developments that were unthinkable in the mid 2000s. Here's how you can prepare your business for the next generation of inbound marketing.
The Ever-Increasing Need for Organic Content
Within the inbound philosophy, organic content has always mattered. Through blogging and other types of content marketing, businesses can raise their profile and attract website visits without having to spend money on more traditional 'push' ads.
Back in 2006, this type of organic content was thought of as a money saver. Today, it's becoming increasingly vital if you want your audience to find you at all. That's because of the recent rise of ad blockers.
By the end of this year, almost 35% of internet users in the United States will use ad blockers to enhance their browsing experience. On both mobile devices and desktops, they're blocking out pop ups and banner ads, costing the advertising industry an estimated $35 billion by 2020.
Organic content, on the other hand, can't be blocked. If you use your blogs and other outlets to publish content that's actually valuable for your audience, they will seek it out. That's probably why the vast majority of brands across industries use some form of content marketing today, and why its ability to break through the clutter will only become more essential in the near future.
Combining Organic and Paid Efforts on Social Media
Interestingly, social media offers a stark contrast to the above move toward organic content. Networks like Facebook and Twitter continuously introduce news feed algorithm updates that de-prioritizes branded content, all in an effort to increase user-friendliness. As a result, organic reach on social media has experienced a steep decline for years.
That development, in turn, has shifted spending for countless brands towards social media ads. Simply boosting a post can get you the reach (and clicks) you need to increase brand awareness and lead conversions, while dedicated marketing campaigns can help you reach your target audience effectively and without having to rely on the luck of the algorithm.
Of course, simply putting money behind your social media content does not take away from its quality requirements. Again, your money is best spent getting posts in front of your audience that potential customers actually find valuable, and will love to interact with. If you can accomplish that feat, you can still use social media to drive web traffic and lead conversions.
The Rise of Native Lead Generation
Finally, inbound marketing is beginning to move away from the website as the central lead-generating hub. Instead, content platforms are increasingly providing marketers with the ability to eliminate friction in the process, through native lead generation opportunities.
Facebook's lead ads, for example, allow marketers to integrate a sign-up form right into a Facebook ad. The network automatically pulls in personal information from a prospect's profile, eliminating not just the otherwise necessary click to your website but also the friction generated by too many form fields. This spring, LinkedIn will introduce a similar alternative on its network.
The core principles of inbound marketing will always remain the same: through valuable content, you can enhance your organic lead generation and improve your business marketing strategy. But thanks to changing trends and technology, the exact ways of getting there are beginning to change. By using the above concepts to your advantage, you can make sure that inbound marketing continues to grow your business and maximize your marketing success.
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call or send us a note today at Small Dog Creative 661-702-1310!