5 Online Marketing Trends
That will generate leads in 2016
Marketing is a dynamic practice, changing virtually every day as consumer’s thoughts, needs and habits evolve. As we approach the new year, we will be seeing some online marketing practices make a comeback as well as new ones make a debut. For most marketers and companies it can be extremely overwhelming at the thought of staying up-to-date on all the trends and then figuring out if they would work for your business. Here, I’ll be going through five of these major marketing trends that we’ll see in 2016 that, when implemented, can help increase your sales in the coming year.
1. Mobile-Friendly Content
Because of Google’s recent algorithm update, having a mobile-friendly site with browse-able content, links and images is no longer an option. Not only is it a necessity to set up your website in a way that looks great on phones and tablets, but it’s also an area you can take advantage of to help boost your conversions (we’re talkin’ about leads, people!).
Through this you can manipulate your calls-to-action to be more prominent and direct when viewed on a mobile device. You can do this by increasing the size of the call-to-action and decreasing the length of the text, as well as, by placing them close to the product images or sales pitch and near to the top of the page to reduce scrolling.
2. Marketing Automation
All leads that come through your forms are what we consider your marketing qualified leads – those that are ready to be nurtured and marketed to before becoming sales qualified leads. With marketing automation you can effectively nurture those leads into becoming sales qualified leads and, ultimately, paying customers without having to manually managed that process.
Marketing automation is on the rise and will help you nurture the leads that come in through the forms on your website into becoming sales-ready. Set up different marketing automation workflows based on where someone is in buyer’s journey, what information they’ve requested, what their pain points are, their demographics, pages they’ve view on your website, inactivity, etc. to successfully nurture those leads through the buying process.
3. Smart Content
Online marketing technology and software has taken leaps and bounds in recent years, giving businesses a lot more insight into their visitors and consumers and how to market smarter to them. The most notable of these is the ability to tailor and change-up content based on a visitor’s actions, behavior and location.
For example, if you own a RV rental and sales company, you can customize the messaging of a call-to-action on your site promoting a specific content offer in order to appeal to different audiences by simply changing up a few, keywords or images. Say, someone came to your website and downloaded your eBook (i.e. “5 Places to Travel When You Retire”), you could then dynamically switch out the calls-to-action on your website to show them a new offer the next time they visited (i.e. “The Benefits of Traveling by RV When You’re Retired”) in order to help move them through the buyer’s journey.
By tailoring content based on your audience, you are much more likely to grab the attention of your visitors and get them to take that next step. There are tools out there such as Hub spot’s smart content tools that allow you to monitor and create dynamic content to show your visitors in order to help you market with the right message at the right time.
4. Advances in Video Marketing
Yes, video has definitely been around successfully helping brands get the word out about their products and services, but I believe we’re only seeing the beginning of it. Since major social media platforms (i.e. Facebook) and news outlets started changing up how they present information through a more video-based angle, video will become more important for brands to use.
Videos can help drive up your conversions in a couple main ways. Videos allow people to visualize themselves using your product or service, adding an experiential element to your content. In addition, they inadvertently help to build trust around your product or service, so viewers feel more compelled to make a purchase.
Email gating your videos (requiring someone to give you their email address in order to view all or pieces of a video) is another way to instantly capture contact information.
You also have the ability to include annotations in videos on platforms like YouTube, which allow you to add additional calls-to-actions on your videos. For example, if your video was a demonstration of how to use a specific product, you could add an annotation with a link over to purchase the product, creating a simple and persuasive conversion path for the viewer.
5. More Targeted Campaigns
In 2016, you’ll start seeing more niche, targeted campaigns. For example, one of the ways that brands are beginning to meet consumers right where they’re at is through native advertising. Native advertising is a form of paid media in which the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user-experience in which it is place. For instance:
Yahoo.com: The ad seamlessly blends into the other articles on the page.
Because users can spot an online ad a mile away now, they are becoming desensitized to them and less trusting of the information. However, because native ads mimic the site they are on, they are less obtrusive feeling and more helpful, resulting in a higher conversion rate than other forms of paid advertising.
There is no doubt that online marketing is a constant evolving process as a result of consumers changing how they search, view and digest content. The key is remaining progressive and open-minded as a company and adjust your strategies to connect with your target audience.
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