3 GREAT INBOUND MARKETING PRACTICES FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN 2015
As the year’s end quickly approaches, we have taken a step back to look at all of what’s happened with inbound marketing this year to make some predictions about where it’s going in 2015.
1. MORE ASKING LESS S(T)ELLING
The truth is that there has been a fundamental shift in the entire buying process over the last few years and this will continue to evolve. Although more companies are becoming aware of the fact that content dissemination is one of the best avenues for reaching their best customers, doing so in a manner that “asks” the customer what they want, like, or need, rather than “tells” or rather “sells” the customer will be the future. Granted their are those that will claim that the customer often doesn’t know what they actually “need” and therefore cannot ask for what they do not know - we would counter that with the idea that every customer has distinct pain points. Businesses that can listen to those pain points by asking the customer to interact and share their thoughts and ideas and then tailor their services or products to address those “needs” will succeed in building trust and creating long time brand advocates.
2. SMART WEBSITES AND SMART CONTENT
Another fascinating (and somewhat creepy, yes we admit it!) tool that will be extremely advantageous for business using inbound marketing is creating smart content and smart websites. What do we mean by “smart content” or “smart websites” is creating content and an experience that adapts to the user based on customized codes that are integrated within the website. Not just customized modules, but actual code that will understand your user preferences, the content you have downloaded in the past, etc and will provide relevant content for your future interactions. Although this may seem a bit invasive, it will not just be like the banner ads you see showing you links to sites you may have searched in the past, but will actually benefit the user. Why? Because the content will provide an experience that allows you to cut through the clutter and get to the content that is most relevant based on the fact that you are choosing to use the site, rather than the ads that try to interrupt your experience and grab your attention when you are using another site.
3. WEBSITES CUT THE CLUTTER
Every few years a great trend (or idea) evolves and reappears with some timely modifications made. In 2015, websites are going to be one of those things that make the shift from basic to complicated back to basic. Let’s elaborate a bit - websites when first created we very basic and static as there was a learning curve to creating them and designs were limited. Over the years websites have become extremely cluttered with information that for the business seems relevant but for the customer often just distracts and complicates the buying process. We are starting to see the shift, but 2015 will mark a significant change for websites that create an experience that cuts the clutter and only offers information in a simplified manner that directs the customer to the next step(s) without all the distractions. This will be particularly true for mobile versions - where most customers go to find information about a business, service, or product.