Recently, we held an event here at our office in Michigan titled, “Tips for Planning Your 2018 Digital Marketing Strategies.” (You can watch that helpful presentation now by clicking here.) And I can honestly say, after 5 years of working in the inbound marketing “space”, I don’t think we’ve ever experienced such a tremendous change in the inbound landscape as we have in the last 12 months. Sure, we’ve seen a lot of shifts over the years, but I don’t think we’ve ever experienced quite as many in such a short amount of time.
Some of the most notable inbound marketing changes I’m talking about include:
- 1. Voice search and how it’s transforming SEO practices
- 2. The powerful rise of video content
- 3. Saying goodbye to TV commercials, and hello to the digital ad
- 4. The power of giving things away for free
Here’s a bit more information about each of these changes:
Voice Search: Gone are the days of a short keyword being the most important SEO factor. Now, with things like Google Home, Alexa, and Siri, keyword terms and content strategy will provide the better ranking results. For example, for a company like ours, instead of working tirelessly to rank for a term like “inbound marketing” we’ll be working to answer questions like, “who is the leading HubSpot inbound marketing agency?”
Video: Have you scrolled through your Facebook feed lately? I would be willing to bet that at least 70% of what you are seeing is video-based content. Reason being, people love video, and it can be the most powerful content element you use to educate and connect with your prospects.
By 2019, video will be the driving factor in 85% of all internet traffic. -American Marketing Association
Digital Ads: As we continue to DVR programs and fast-forward through commercials, the digital ad is rising in its position as the most powerful ad space available today. Social and digital ads can be highly targeted as well, down to a job title or hobby of interest, which puts information right in front of the people you care about while their searching online.
Freebies: People searching online want to be sure they are making a good purchase. It’s a “prove your worth” society with all the competition available at your fingertips, so the push to offer something for free is paramount. If your product or service is as great as you say it is, the people signing up for a free trial or watching your webinar shouldn’t always have to pay or give you their contact information anymore (Yes, that means landing pages should be used more strategically these days, folks! Put them in front of your best and most valuable content, not everywhere, that's annoying.)
We offer things for free, too! Want to know what it will take for you to implement inbound marketing for your business? We’ll do a completely complimentary inbound assessment to let ya know. Click here and we’ll get it started.
Why You Should Care About These Changes in 2018
Businesses have a powerful opportunity because these shifts are just taking place, so you can still get your name heard in the mix. You can lead the charge of having your voice search terms ranking higher on Google, you can create a killer video your competition hasn’t even thought of yet, you can target ads to the exact persona you are going after, and you can give something away for free that others will think you are crazy for doing but you will reap the benefits from. Yeah, some people are already doing some of this, but not as many small-to-medium sized businesses as you might think. I predict that by the end of 2018, those who started ramping up their digital marketing efforts with these changes in mind will experience significant growth and results over companies who do not.
Businesses who focus primarily Inbound Marketing save more than $14 per each new customer. -HubSpot’s State of Inbound 2017 Report
How To Do It
So, you might be thinking, “I can’t do all of this, I don’t have the staff, time, or the expertise to get it done.” Well, that’s where people like us come in. Do you know that for most companies it costs less to hire a complete inbound marketing agency team than it does to hire 1 full-time marketing manager? And with an agency, you get instant access to not just a single marketing manager with a limited amount of skills, but numerous HubSpot experts who specialize in web design, web development, video, editing, content creation, and inbound strategy. That’s not to say you can’t find a Marketing Manager with all those skills combined, but if you do, you will likely pay a pretty penny for them because they know the value they bring. Agencies also provide a variety of role-specific certifications (our staff of 13 people has a combined 54 HubSpot certifications) these certifications mean HubSpot has given their seal of approval that we understand the strategies and the tools required to achieve measurable success through inbound marketing best practices.
You might be thinking, “What about a Marketing Manager PLUS outsourcing for the other things that manager can’t do?”
The answer is yes, you can probably find a few outsourced workers to do the things your manager can’t, but then you or the manager also carries the additional responsibility of managing those workers as well. And I know this isn’t the case for all freelanced employees, but if you don’t find the right outsourced workers, you may face the hard reality of them becoming unreliable or unresponsive. For many established inbound marketing agencies, we keep as much as possible in-house so we can be as reliable and responsive to clients as possible. That’s not to say we never outsource, (think highly specialized requests, or very niche/complex industries that require it) but we realize that when you are already outsourcing your marketing to us, we probably shouldn’t be outsourcing it again unless absolutely necessary.
To put it simply, if you want to do inbound marketing right in 2018, an agency partnership is your most promising combination to execute on marketing strategies that will truly resonate with today's digital buyer.
Want to see a funny little video we made about partnering with an agency like ours? Click below to watch now: