How do you get this mobile market to convert to using inbound marketing?

We’ve looked at worldwide trends and identified the following for South Africa in 2018:

1. Being mobile first

Mobile must be top of mind for local campaigns. Writing or designing for mobile doesn’t mean opting for less, it just means being smarter about execution.

2. Minding the micro-moments

A micro-moment is when your prospect wants what they want, when and how they want it. This means you need to:
  • Be there – anticipate your prospect’s possible micro-moments and be there when they need help/information; 
  • Be useful – provide a useful and memorable experience; and
  • Be accountable – a seamless customer experience across all media and devices is what you should be striving for. 

3. Paid is the answer

With algorithms changing often, organic posts on Facebook have a 2% to 6% chance of being seen, and this is declining. Include Facebook-boosted posts and advertising in your campaigns to increase reach and get the message in front of the right audience. Also, don’t discount the value of putting advertising spend behind the Google Display Network.

4. Moving away from gated content

Landing pages provide your prospects with content to move them along the buyer’s journey. This is a long-standing best practice. The assumption is if you give someone something valuable for free, like a marketing tool, they will give you their details. But, consider that prospects may find it daunting to provide their details if they’re just starting to look for information.

Offer pillar content to your prospects instead of gated content

Pillar pages are surrounded by cluster content. The latter covers the topics on the pillar page in-depth and provides more context to the reader.

The visitor should readily access the pillar page but then has to submit an email address to access the cluster content. While you don’t receive their details in exchange initially, you’ll be increasing traffic, increasing shareability, and heightening your brand perception.

Bringing this back to mobile

Say your prospect is on Facebook and wants to download your offer. Usually, they would have to click a link, be redirected to your landing page, fill in their details, and then go back to Facebook. Seems like a lot of clicking.

With Facebook’s lead ads, navigating away from your page is eliminated and the prospect can fill in their details right there and then.

5. Having good guest bloggers

Blogs are essential in content marketing and, considering that there are millions of posts published per day, they are among the best ways to drive traffic to your site and generate leads. Bringing in guest bloggers can increase your inbound organic traffic.

6. Long-form content

We’ve all written or commissioned those blog posts. You know the 500 to 1 000-word ramblings because a post has to go out. Yes, you need to blog consistently, but you also need to focus on relevant topics that serve a specific purpose. Quality always trumps quantity.

What about word count? HubSpot’s report indicates the 'sweet spot' is between 2 250 to 2 500, so you’ll need to plan and do your research thoroughly. Complement the content with relevant images, callouts, bullet points, and colour to improve readability.

7. Personalisation and smart content

Has your email campaign resulted in poor engagement? With marketing automation software, dynamic lists, and cookies, you can send out targeted emails with relevant content based on the recipient’s demographics, online behaviour, and recent engagement level.

8. AI and integrations

Usually, a prospect contacts a company via a form on their website. The details go to an employee who will then contact the prospect. However, the waiting time is simply too long for the average consumer. And this means no sale.

Because people want an immediate response (think micro-moments), implement a live-chat feature on your website – this speeds up the response time and keeps emails from getting lost in inboxes. Your prospect gets the fast reply they want in the moment and ends the session satisfied.

There are some great live chat options available, both free and paid.

9. Interactive content – death to the e-book

Good content must be at the heart of every inbound marketing campaign. But, prospects are consuming content differently. Blogs, how-tos, and guides still have their place in inbound marketing campaigns, but prospects also want to be able to interact with your content – like it, share it, not simply leave a comment.

So when you think of content, think of video, animations (yes, GIFs too), useful tools (like mortgage calculators or marketing budget tools), and surveys.

10. Visual marketing

Most social platforms make it easy to share video content but, being data-intensive, remember to keep your videos short for the South African market.

A HubSpot report has revealed the following:
  • Four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it; and
  • Using the word ‘video’ in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.

Keep these trends in mind for your inbound marketing campaigns in 2018, and watch out for others that will evolve as the year progresses.

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