Inbound Marketing Trends for 2022

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Many companies have been pivoting for two years and are rethinking their content marketing strategy. The pandemic exposed many inefficient processes, obsolete technology, and ineffective methods. Some companies have seen significant turnover and are now adjusting to smaller, more efficient teams. Others have grown so quickly that they have difficulty keeping up with the day’s demands.

Although experts share many content marketing trends and predictions at year’s beginning, it can be hard to translate them into concrete plans. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a trend is right for your company or fits within your marketing budget.

Although virtual reality and augmented reality will be a part of future content marketing, if your brand does not have an app or platform to host them (or has a large budget to test them), these trends may not make sense.

Here are the places our clients are spending time and money this year.

Five Content Marketing Priorities for Our Clients in the New Year

General Brand Awareness

It’s amazing to see the Super Bowl ads and what the top consumer brands are doing. Although I don’t plan to purchase a new car anytime soon, I am inspired by the Toyota “Start Your Impossible” campaign. I can see the inspiring 30-second story of a Paralympic athlete who overcame all odds.

Visa supports participation when I see skiers lined up at a starting line. A Super Bowl commercial featuring Matthew McConaughey taught me that Salesforce has a new advocacy campaign, #TeamEarth, which focuses on driving change, inclusion, and sustainability.

Both B2C and B2B companies are trying to recover from the pandemic and compete for attention in a time when almost everyone feels screen fatigue. They recognize that they must create memorable moments to get back on top.

When you are thinking about how to revitalize your brand, think:

  • Your brand strategy, brand identity
  • Compelling video marketing
  • Advertising opportunities
  • Organic social posts
  • Blogs, landing pages, and other resources that keep the conversation going

Looking for ideas? These B2B content advertising campaigns are innovative.

Establishing long-term partnerships

Sales teams are in trouble. A 2018 report from The Bridge Group showed that the average tenure of a sales development representative was only one and a half years — long before the “Great Resignation.” This is a serious problem, considering that it can take several months to train new SDRs, and the average deal in B2B can take anywhere between a few months and a year. Our clients have begun to focus more on partnership programs to help them overcome these difficulties. They are looking for companies and resellers in their industry that offer complementary products and services.

Partnership programs that work well are powerful revenue generators. A Forrester study involving 450 companies was conducted by Impact. It found that mature partnerships programs had nearly twice the growth rate of those without them.

Consider which companies are most aligned with your mission and goals if you’re thinking about creating a partnership program. It should be structured clearly so that the partners and a designated person will take responsibility for partner outreach, onboarding and training, and registration. These efforts can be supported by content marketing, which includes:

  • Promoting the partnership with a video
  • An exclusive partner page clearly explains the program’s benefits and includes a form to make it easy for people to apply.
  • To qualify potential partners, a lead nurturing workflow.
  • Emails to engage, attract, onboard and nurture new partners.
  • Partner portal that provides resources and support to partners

HubSpot has developed extensive partnerships for affiliates, service providers, marketing agencies, and other businesses. Salesforce, another example of a company with a well-developed partnership program, is also a good example. There’s no better time than now to develop partnerships if they haven’t been a priority in your company’s past.

Omni-Channel Marketing

Content is consumed on many different platforms and devices. We will check the news app on our phones in the morning, then read some email newsletters at work. Finally, we may see a few retargeting ads through our social media feeds later that afternoon.

We’ll listen to more commercials on our favourite podcast or flip through them while watching TV. Or, we can skip them completely on our favourite streaming service (except if they are connected TV advertisements). We’re more likely to go back to our phones when considering buying something. It’s now 9 p.m., and we don’t want to call anyone to begin the process.

Omnichannel marketing recognizes that customers need a consistent experience across all channels. This means having a consistent message across all channels while adapting the tone and voice to suit each channel. Customers can interact in many ways, and it focuses on removing any barriers.

McKinsey’s research shows that two-thirds (or more) of buyers would prefer to communicate with someone remotely in the sales process. Meanwhile, 83% of B2B executives believe that omnichannel selling has greater success than traditional methods.

Customer Journey Mapping

Companies are becoming more laser-focused on customer experience as they move towards a more omnichannel marketing experience. Companies hire experts in customer experience, conversion rate optimization, and user experience or develop these skills internally.

To better understand each interaction from the moment someone hears about your company and visits your website to the point they buy your products or services, they’re using customer Journey Mapping. This is a great way to increase conversions. It’s worth looking at the customer journey from their initial visit to your site before you launch your next major marketing campaign. Take this example:

  • Your website design is responsive on any device.
  • Is it possible to explain what you do in a matter of seconds?
  • Is there a button to call for action at the top of your homepage?
  • Does that option remain available no matter what page they are on your website?
  • Do you call on different buyers depending on the problems that you solve?
  • Do you have a chance to view a brief demo video of the product before they contact you?
  • What point of your website is someone clicking away or losing interest?
  • Are you allowing them to schedule time with someone through a Calendar plugin? Or do you force them to fill out a form and wait for someone else to respond?
  • What happens to them after they have had a demo?

Hotjar heatmap tools can record videos of users using your website. This lets you see what they are clicking on and where they might be leaving off. An agency with user experience expertise will help you analyze the data and make recommendations to improve your design to increase conversions.

Supporting Customer Success with Content

It is more cost-effective for existing customers to retain them than to attract new ones. However, many companies don’t focus on customer success as a priority in their content marketing.

They recognize the importance of customer success managers who are available to assist customers with their marketing needs.

Content marketing trends tend to focus a lot on converting leads and customers. However, they overlook an important part of that journey. HubSpot refers to this as customer delight. It goes beyond keeping customers happy. Customers are satisfied when they meet their expectations. However, delight is all about the surprise element. They will tell others about their amazing experience by going the extra mile.

Think back to the last time you were treated with delight by a brand. Perhaps it was opening a gift package with a gift. Perhaps it was the ease of the sales process or the quality and speed of your support. Although these elements might not be present in B2B sales processes the same way you do when purchasing something for yourself, the delight element is equally important.

B2B companies could give them a wonderful user conference (whether they’re in-person or virtual), a gift when they renew their subscriptions, or a video thanking them for a great 2012.

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