Marketing represents an important part of growing any business. The average company spends around 6.5-10% of their revenue on marketing, with some companies going much higher. When it comes to marketing, there are two main camps that most methods will fit in. These are inbound and outbound marketing.
On one hand you have outbound marketing, which is when you send your marketing message out into the world and initiate a conversation. On the other hand, inbound marketing is when you draw customers in with SEO, quality content or other means.
In particular, this article is going to look at inbound marketing, and go over some of the major trends in the space in 2021 that your small business can use.
#1. Use Videos for Marketing
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In 2021, videos are becoming an incredibly popular way to market your products or services. They are more engaging, generally quicker than reading a blog post and deliver a ton of information in less time. Most people are more willing to click on and watch a video than read a post on your site.
Whether you create the videos yourself or hire one of the premier inbound marketing agencies in your area, you should be taking advantage of this medium. Whatever your messaging is, there is certainly a style of video that can help you get it across.
In addition to video advertisements, you can also use innovations like live video and streaming in order to get your message across. During these live videos you can answer questions, share information about upcoming news and events, or simply talk about the benefits of your product. Don’t forget to use videos for standard content on your social media pages, as well.
#2. Personalization is Key
In 2021 and beyond, one of the most important aspects of inbound marketing will be personalization. Most customers are no longer impressed or engaged by very general advertisements. They want your ads to seemingly speak to them directly, and address their unique wants and needs.
You need to use analytics to identify not only your target market, but also different groups within that market. Using information like their age, job, interests, and location will help you decide how you want to speak to them directly. These insights can help you craft unique targeted ads that will convert much better than ones that are generally blasted out to all your customers. Sure, personalizing or hyper-targeting your ads can be more work, but the better results will generally speak for themselves.
#3. Building Links
As always, content is king. Your content is often what draws people in, gets them interested in your offering and also gives you a boost to your SEO. However, just because you post some content doesn’t mean people will flock to your site. You need to build backlinks from high-authority sites. These can drastically improve your SEO and your ranks on search engines.
If your site is linked to by an authority in your space, it means a lot more eyes on your content, and potentially some new customers. However, getting these backlinks isn’t always easy. You need to make sure your content is high-quality and provides a lot of value, and then build your relationships with these reputable and relevant sites.
You could also participate in guest posting, as it is another way to get your name and content out there. While you can reach out to these sites yourselves, working with some sort of blogger outreach service can generally help streamline the process.
#4. Optimize for Voice Search
In the past, nearly every Google search was made from an individual typing in what they wanted to search. While this is still the most common, it is no longer the only option. As the prevalence of virtual assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home grows, so does the amount of people making searches with their voice. Also, things like Siri and Bixby are contributing to this growth, as well.
With more people using voice search today, you need to switch up your SEO a little bit. When people type to search something, it is often not grammatically correct. For example, they could search “cheapest mechanic”. However, when they are searching via voice, they will use a more conversational tone and complete sentences, which might be “who is the cheapest mechanic in X city”.
Because of this difference, you will need to rephrase your content and keywords a bit to include generally longer keywords. Now, don’t completely rework all of your content as typed search is still incredibly popular, but be cognizant of the changes taking place.
#5. The Growth of Influencer Marketing
The massive growth of social media over the recent few years has given rise to several different influencers. These influences have large amounts of fans and followers who are incredibly dedicated. Many of these influencers are willing to work with brands to advertise their products and services to their followers. Influencer marketing is a great way to get your product or service in front of a new audience.
Not only that, but these followers trust these influencers a ton, so if they tell their audience to check out your product, you can expect that a ton of them will. Of course, be sure to work with an influencer that makes sense for both your brand and the influencer. For example, you wouldn’t reach out to a gaming industry influencer to market your hiking accessories brand.
While many companies will go after the big fish in their space, sometimes a smarter and more profitable idea is to use micro-influencers. These micro-influencers will often have less followers, but in many occasions, these followers are a more engaged audience than the tens of millions that follow some major influencers.
Inbound marketing is one of the premier techniques for companies to grow their brand or business. Whether you decide to use videos, personalize your content, use influencers or any of the other methods covered, you will be on your way to better marketing success for your small business in 2021.