The beginning of a new year always brings with it a flurry of predictions about what the trends are going to be for that year. No doubt you have seen any number of “What’s Hot in marketing for 2014” articles all over the internet. While these are fun and loaded with good information, I find that what’s more important isn’t just determining where inbound marketing is going in 2014, but where it is going to be in 2015 and 2016. If you know what is going to be relevant in the long term, you can save a lot of time and effort by not chasing after whatever happens to be trendy right now and focusing on the best practices that will help you grow your business for years to come.
In order to help you out with this, we have come up with a list of things that will help take your inbound marketing strategy beyond 2014.
#1 Google Will Get Better at Determining Quality Content and Continue to Give It Precedence
It’s sad, but when it comes to optimizing for Google search, I find that many (if not most) businesses are reactionary. They follow whatever practices seem to work at the moment, then as soon as a major update rolls out like Penguin, Panda, or Hummingbird they scramble to adjust their website and their content accordingly. The thing is that Google has been very clear about where they plan to take search in the future and by taking their input to heart, business can spend less time and effort reacting to every single change Google makes.
When it comes to content, it is all about quality. Google is getting a lot smarter about determining quality content and it is a sure bet that they will continue to do so for years to come. Content needs to be relevant, helpful, informative, and talked about for it to be considered high quality.
#2 You Are Going to Need a Good Variety of Content
Instead of fixating on one particular type of content, businesses need to continue to integrate various types of content into their inbound marketing strategy. There is most likely not going to be one definitive, be-all type of content that will consistently rock your customer’s and prospects’ worlds. Having a mixture of different content, be it infographics, video, blog articles, images, etc. keeps things fresh and people engaged, so don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. This will help to get you better results not just in 2014 but for years to come.
#3 Inbound Marketing Will Get Even More Personal
As the wealth of information about their customers/prospects grows for marketers, it becomes easier for them to create more personalized marketing. For example, marketing automation will continue to grow more sophisticated in coming years, allowing organizations to more easily hone in on prospects and identify their needs. This more targeted approach allows for even greater connection between brands and prospects and allow them to move them down the sales funnel more quickly.
Laying a strong foundation for this now will help you tremendously later on down the line. If you haven’t already, you should spend some time really investigating your different types of buyers. You should have a good understanding of who they are, the problems they face, where they like to frequent online, and any other information that you can get your hands on.
Image by Danilo Rizzuti from FreeDigitalPhotos.net