7 Inbound Marketing Trends for 2017 (& Why to Use Them)

80% of marketers say their lead generating efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. If you’re in that majority, inbound marketing trends can increase your lead generation.

Inbound marketing generates leads who can become customers. But evolving media means you need to stay on top of your marketing techniques.

Take a moment and evaluate your strategy for 2017. These inbound marketing trends can make your strategy more effective.

Keep reading for seven inbound marketing trends and why you should use them.

Identify a Customer Persona

Before you can plan content to generate leads, you need to know who you’re marketing to. Evaluate your existing audience and desired audience to create a persona.

What’s their age, income, location? What about their spending habits?

Generate every detail possible about your customer persona. You need to avoid shooting only for the “dream lead,” though.

Once you have your persona, compare it to leads you’ve already generated. If you have leads who’ve become customers, that’s better.

Are they similar? You want to shoot for the ideal lead, but you don’t want to waste your time on people who’ll never bite.

Keep it Mobile Friendly

72% of consumers want to visit a mobile friendly site. They’re more likely to return to one, so optimize all of your content for mobile use.

Optimize everything about your online presence. Check that everything from your blog to your store is easy to use on mobiles of all sizes.

A responsive layout is the best for mobile use. Your website detects the device accessing it and adjusts the layout for optimal use.

Not being mobile friendly also hurts your SEO. Google thinks you’re less likely to have legitimate information, so it pushes you lower in results.

The bottom line is that customers expect mobile friendly inbound marketing trends. If your site isn’t mobile friendly, they won’t stick around for long.

Interactive Content

Featuring interactive content engages potential customers and pulls them in to share their contact information. When you keep interactive content mobile friendly, it’s the perfect activity for people to click through while they’re bored.

If they can click it, it’s interactive. Just think polls, interactive infographics, or even tutorial videos and webinars they can ask live questions in.

Interactive inbound marketing trends involve people so they become leads.

Quizzes

It’s hard to scroll through social media without seeing someone’s shared results from an online quiz. People like you to stack them up against others.

Create a quiz to test how much knowledge someone has about a subject versus the other quiz takers. At the end of the quiz, ask for their email address.

Especially if you require their email address to send their results, it’s an easy way to generate leads.

Solid Social Media

Speaking of the places where people share quiz results, improving social media strategy is one of the biggest inbound marketing trends. When was the last time you gave your social media a check up?

Don’t waste your energy on every social media outlet out there. Focus on the major ones, like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

But make sure you suit the major few you choose to your customer persona. Teens spend more time on Instagram and Snapchat, while older professionals spend time on LinkedIn.

Your numbers are the perfect place to turn to figure out where you should focus.

Which outlet generates the most leads? You want a mixture of engagement and leads, but leads are always the endgame.

Choose your top-performing outlets, and then perfect your social media campaign with my advice.

Blog Subscription Form

Creating blog content is essential for getting people to your site and improving your SEO. But to hook them as leads, you need some way to get their contact information.

Create awesome blog content and offer a blog subscription form for people to enter their contact information.

Keep in mind what information you’re asking for. For a corporate blog without a personal touch, don’t ask for more than their first name and email address.

If you’re getting personal with professional advice, you can ask for more details, like their job title.

But always remember that people like their privacy, so asking for less is better.

Email Marketing

You may think that email marketing is old and obsolete, but 85% of retailers cite it as one of their most effective tactics to get customers.

First, you need to grow your email marketing list. Then, put that email list to use.

Email marketing is cheap and effective. You might need to pay for a service to store your email list and send out automatic emails, but free services exist, too.

You can personalize it to your customers and their orders, or to your leads.

Create an email that thanks customers by name for their purchases. Try to address people by name in your marketing emails, too.

You can also use email marketing for a solid call to action that transforms leads into paying customers. Almost every email asks for a reply, or for someone to go to your site to do something.

Take advantage of that call to action and keep improving it.

Email marketing provides measurable results, so you should keep evaluating your strategy for the most effective call to action.

Nurture Leads

You put all of this energy into generating leads, but you can’t stop there. Keep nurturing them to turn them from leads into paying customers.

Once you get a lead, you have to keep engaging with them to move them through the customer funnel. The earlier you contact a lead after finding them, the better chance you have to get the eventual sale.

Email is a great tool for this, but don’t limit yourself. Reach out over a few different channels, like social media.

Keep contact personalized and targeted to their customer persona for the best success.

Finishing Up Inbound Marketing Trends

Inbound marketing generates leads that become sales when handled correctly. Whether or not you have an inbound marketing strategy, it could use an update.

2017 brought inbound marketing trends that, even if you already implemented them, provide a great reminder to take a step back and evaluate your strategy for the next year.

If you need more help with digital marketing and strategy, contact me.

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