Inbound Marketing Trends for 2018

Inbound marketing trends can change as quickly as Google changes its algorithm – nearly 500 times per year. This makes it harder to stay out in front of your competition. What works one day may not work the next, but you still need inbound marketing to grow your business.

Inbound marketing is the process of making your content show up where your prospects are looking. It involves search engine optimization, social media, mobile marketing, local marketing, and analytics.

Here are top inbound marketing trends to master early in 2018:

Guest Blogging

Blog posts bring in new organic inbound traffic, and guest blogging helps you get in front of more readers. When you guest post on another high authority industry website, it increases your website page authority and can drive relevant traffic back to your company’s website.

Find industry or trade journal websites that have large followings and high domain and page authority. Browse those sites and read through their current guest blog posts to identify their target audience. If their audience aligns with yours, read their guest posting guidelines and submit your best work for their approval.

You should compile a list of 5 to 6 top industry sites to target each month. Keep guest blogging to drive relevant traffic back to your website faster than your organic posts can.

Long Content Helps With Readers and SEO

The days of 300-400-word posts gaining rankings are over. Viewers and search engines today want in-depth, long posts with plenty of quality information. High quality, high-value, consistent blogging can transform your business. This change means several posts a week, each over 800 words, are the best way to generate the inbound traffic you need.

Google’s data shows that posts over 2,000 words rank higher in their search engine. In fact, the sweet spot is between 2,250 and 2,500 words. Adding fluff, however, to get to higher word counts will alienate your audience. Rather, you should add value by offering a series of how-tos or step-by-step instructions that are relevant. Show people how to carry out best practices instead of listing them.

Live Chats

Collecting leads through forms has been the staple for lead generation since 2006. In 2018, your prospects may not want to complete forms for free content. How do you capture leads if people do not fill out forms? Offer a live chat option with a message like “What brought you here?”

Neil Patel details how Drift tested this strategy and increased their click-through rate by 63%. Drift’s sales force manned live chats, and out of the people who clicked on the message, 63% engaged in a conversation. Live chats are a faster, easier way to get one-on-one time with leads. Most people today want information or a solution on the spot. If you do not offer a way for prospects to reach out instantly, you risk losing that lead.

Personalized Messages

Personalizing your content has long been a strategy, but it will resurge in 2018. Cookies and dynamic lists allow you to deliver personalized content to prospects and customers who have been to your website before. Your inbound marketing strategies need personalization to succeed this year.

Your prospects and customers spend time on different channels like social media sites, emails, and even Google searches on mobile devices. It makes people feel welcome when your website greets them personally and helps to strengthen relationships with your brand and prospects or customers.

Interactive Content

To get the best results from your inbound marketing efforts, content is integral. But when everyone is publishing content today, how do you stand out from the crowd? Interactive content engages visitors with a live element beyond mere reading.

Consider using video, animation, tools, surveys, quizzes, and other features to let your customers and prospects interact, engage, and learn about your company’s products or services. Then share that content on social media. Interactive content is being used by successful companies across the country; now is the time to meet or exceed your customers’ expectations by offering engaging and informative interactive content.

Live Stream

Video marketing is huge in 2018, and live streaming satisfies your customers’ and prospects’ sense of must-watch urgency. Since live video is a real-time account of something, it offers a level of transparency that your customers and prospects love.

Using platforms like Facebook Live can help you expand your reach. You can also track viewers’ responses by the live feedback they post in the comments section. This gives you an inside view into what your customers and prospects are thinking now. It also offers an unscripted way to interact with and respond to your viewers immediately.

We make it our business to stay ahead of the curve with marketing trends. Focusing on these inbound marketing trends in 2018 can have a big impact on your marketing results. The overriding theme is creating a better experience for your prospects and customers.

For help with your digital marketing, please request a complimentary marketing audit or contact us today.

Author: Sheila Kloefkorn

With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.