With the dawn of each new year, marketers are finding new ways to better attract and engage with current and potential consumers. Staying up to date on what’s new and next helps you make sure that your strategies are current and as effective as they can be. As we look to the year ahead in 2019, we are already seeing some trends when it comes to content marketing. In a previous blog we took a deep dive into content marketing and how it’s all about attracting and engaging with your potential consumers by educating them with high quality content. It’s an organic way to build rapport and trust because you’re not selling, but rather solving a problem that will hopefully end in a delighted customer. Content marketing has evolved since its inception, and with innovative technology and new channels for communication, we don’t see that evolution slowing any time soon. Although the new year has just begun, we’re already seeing what’s new and next, including 5 trends for content marketing in 2019.
Chatbots & Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is being used more and more by nearly all businesses, whether you know it or not. It serves as an opportunity to not only meet your company’s bottom line, but it also allows you to more efficiently allocate your time. For instance, chatbots used to be seen in a negative light whenever they’d pop up on a website. Well, not anymore. Chat bots have come a long way from the first ever bot called ELIZA in 1966. Created by Joseph Weizenbaum, the chatbot laid the fundamentals for future innovations by using preprogrammed responses, phrases, and keywords (though it didn't pass the Turing Test, i.e. the test of users believing they were interacting with an actual person). Fast-forward a few decades and AI interfaces like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana are becoming more mainstream. Chatbots are now widely used on websites because they allow businesses to have more conversations with website visitors and interact like never before with sophisticated conversations that sounds much more real than previous efforts.
As consumers continually change the way in which they make purchases, how do businesses know how to keep up and be seen? It’s marketing’s job to have their finger on the pulse and be knowledgeable about consumer behavior, which means it’s good practice to check in on the strategies you have in place to see what’s going well, what’s not working, and where there may be some opportunities to improve. Whether your business has been around for a couple years or it’s just starting up, inbound marketing can serve as a significant piece of your puzzle as you attract, engage, and delight your consumers. It lays a significant and solid foundation for how you do business and interact with potential consumers.
Without inbound marketing, you’re probably using outdated strategies to attract leads and make conversions. Building awareness and trust is fundamental to inbound. Just think, if you’re a B2C company that’s using billboard advertising and direct mail to get the word out about your business, you’re really missing out on building a relationship with your consumer. Chances are that people who get the mailing or see your advertisement don’t give a second thought to doing business with you because they’re missing the why. Being able to demonstrate value and educate the consumer is what inbound marketing relies on to create success and keep consumers engaged.
If you haven’t begun using inbound marketing and aren’t happy with the results your current marketing strategy is providing, here are 5 signs that inbound might work for you.
1. Poor SEO
Think of the last time you had a question or were looking to make a purchase. What did you do first? Chances are that you’re in the group of 62% of people who turn to consult with a search engine before making a purchasing decisions (HubSpot, 2016). Businesses know that their ideal consumers are using Google as a resource, and that the goal is to figure out how to cut through all of the noise and really get people's attention. You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization, or SEO, and you intuitively understand the importance of ensuring you have a good SEO strategy in place. But how does SEO really work, and what does it mean for modern businesses?
We tend to think of artificial intelligence (AI) in terms of tangible technologies, like robots or even Watson. But most AI-powered technology actually exists in a much more abstract form, in the form of algorithms. And that technology is incredibly important for marketers who wish to stay at the forefront of the industry.