People are constantly being bombarded with digital adverts of some kind and consumers are tired of being hounded by banners or annoyed by pop-ups when they can find everything they want with the click of a button. This is why inbound marketing efforts are outranking traditional advertising on every front.
The inbound methodology is one that focuses on creating valuable, relevant, and helpful content to attract potential customers and connect with them through every stage of the marketing funnel.
The goal here is to create evergreen content that connects your business to it's potential customers, offers a far better customer experience, and creates long-lasting customer relationships. If you're new to inbound marketing, we're talking about quality content in the form of blog posts, social media posts, email marketing, podcasts, etc.
By the way, we're not discrediting outbound marketing strategies by any means - they certainly have their place - but it often costs more money to capture the attention of customers this way and strategies such as cold calling or banner ads are not proving as effective as they used to be.
So, if you're ready to learn about the hottest marketing trends of 2022/2023 and make waves with your business, read on below!
- Video Content 🎥
- Social Media Marketing 📢
- Useful, High-Quality Content 🏆
- Influencer Marketing 👀
- Increased AI And ML Use 👩💻
- Additional Inbound Marketing Trends To Watch 🧐
- Conclusion 🙌
Of course we had to put this first! Video content has reigned as the top format for its third year in a row, as of 2022.
Marketers have seen an enormous jump in the success of video content since the pandemic hit and its now rated as the most engaging format with the highest ROI.
You've probably read that short-form video content is taking the lead but we wouldn't discredit longer forms as YouTube ranks right up there with TikTok and Instagram Reels; and we're not just talking about YouTube shorts.
While bite-sized clips are definitely more popular as we race through an increasingly busy world, a variety of video content is bumping up the numbers.
Here's some quick video marketing statistics for you to crunch through:
- Short-form video content is the top media format with the highest ROI compared to other content formats.
- Following short-form videos are live videos/streaming and live audio chat rooms.
- Video in general is the top media format with the highest engagement rate.
- TikTok and Instagram Reels are the fastest growing video platforms.
- YouTube jumped from the fourth most popular platform last year to the second in 2022.
- Video content produces the second highest ROI for B2C brands.
- Funny and interactive content are the most effective.
- More than half of consumers want to learn about new products through video content
Video has become so prevalent that consumers expect it from all businesses. If you're not using video in your inbound marketing strategy, you are going to miss out on a huge segment of your target audience, especially as this inbound marketing trend is predicted to continue seeing huge growth in 2023.
Social media has been rated as the #1 marketing channel for two years in a row now. Most social media teams are continuing to invest in brand building via Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook in 2022.
Interestingly, despite some drama over the last few years, Facebook is still dominating with the best ROI for both B2B and B2C organizations. The other side of the coin is that it's lacking in engagement and is predicted to lose its top spot in the coming years.
Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn, however, are showing huge promise and TikTok's sudden growth means it's becoming the top investment choice as we move into 2023.
Take a look at these stats:
- The top three social media platforms marketers are using in 2022 are Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.
- Facebook has the best ROI for social media ads versus other platforms
- Innovative and creative content is the most likely to start a trend or go viral.
- Social media is ranked the most effective channel for acquiring new customers in 2022.
- The most effective content is humorous, interactive, authentic, and relatable.
- Social media users also want to see content from brands that reflects the organization's values.
Building brand awareness through social platforms is a great way to bring in conversions. The social media trends to watch are interactive content such as polls, games, and AR, "behind the scenes"/authentic content, and content that really shows off your brand values.
With the vast number of businesses and content out there, consumers have become almost blind to standard content.
To stay ahead you need to stop selling and start understanding what your audience wants, nurturing authenticity, interactive/educational content, and effective segmentation for more personalized adverts.
Brands are realizing this and are starting to invest in more useful pieces of content such as educational posts, surveys/polls, quizzes, webinars, 360 videos, free basic tools, etc. If your brand stands out as consistently providing people with awesome experiences and valuable content, they'll return to view future content.
Here's a quick look at some stats to tie this up:
- Interactive content generates two times more conversions than passive content (converts approximately 70% of the time).
- Creative content is becoming more prevalent and shows even more growth for 2023.
- Content that educates and engages the audience is being favored over content that makes consumers feel targeted.
- With the current state of the world, social responsibility, ethics, and transparency matter more to the modern consumer.
- The focus has shifted from posting as often as possible to posting the highest quality content possible.
Yep, that's right: Influencers are making waves!
In fact, it's currently more popular than search engine optimization for a number of industries and is an emerging marketing trend for 2022 which is expected to surpass $16B. This is why creator enablement will be a critical skill for brands to learn as we enter into 2023.
Why influencers? Because they're relatable and their followers trust them. This translates into a valued opinion and, as the name suggests, the ability to easily influence the behavior of a target audience.
Influencer marketing is a fantastic option for your inbound strategy as they already have organic traffic built up, at their expense, which are made up of a very specific community.
- The top industries leveraging influencer marketing are fashion, cosmetics, and luxury goods/services.
- Influencer marketing is predicted to bring in more than $16B this year alone.
- Around 86% of consumers will consider the recommendations of a micro-influencer that they follow.
- Influencers are divided into four categories, namely Micro Influencers (10K - 100K followers), Macro Influencers (101K - 500K), Mega Influencers (501K - 1.5M), and Celebrity Influencers (1.5M+).
- Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful assets for any marketer. If people are talking about your business, you have an advantage in the industry!
With the advancement of technology, marketers are gaining access to some pretty awesome tools that make marketing automation a dream.
With the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, inbound marketers can easily give potential and loyal customers everything they need through improved account-based marketing (ABM).
It takes on the tedious tasks of analyzing consumer data and delivering vast amounts of content across various platforms while personalizing content options based on the customer's actions and preferences.
We've got a few facts to show you why the use of AI and ML are on the rise:
- The use of AI cuts time spent on digital marketing tasks.
- Businesses can enhance their content marketing efforts as consumers are shown curated content and suggestions which naturally lead to increased engagement and conversions.
- Conversational AI can assist in writing content by generating content briefs, highlighting popular customer questions, and speeding up research.
- Organizations can offer their customers live chat using AI (chatbots) and increase customer satisfaction and, you guessed it, conversions.
We've highlighted the top five trends, but there are a few others on the rise.
As mentioned earlier, video content is making waves, but did you know that audio content is also seeing a rise in popularity? Podcasts and audio books are fantastic inbound marketing strategies - think of all the people listening to while they work or drive.
Audio is a great alternative to video and written content and is particularly effective for those focused on educating their consumers or wanting to engage a slightly more mature audience.
If you're not already offering some forms of ungated content, it's time to add it to your content strategy. With all the focus on consumer privacy and data sharing, potential customers might not want to part with their details if they don't trust the company.
Building a good foundation of ungated content will build trust and give visitors the option to sign up for more specialized content should they want to. While you don't want to lose out on consumer data, you also don't want to gate most of your valuable content and make them turn to a competitor who offers them free materials.
We mentioned AI and ML above, and this ties in nicely with another trend on the rise: chat bots and conversational marketing. In a world of instant gratification, people don't want to wait hours for a response. By employing a chat feature, such as a real-time messaging platform, you can give your customers what they want, when they want it.
Not only will you increase conversions, but as these platforms advance, you can build a data hub that stores all the information you need to learn more about your customers.
Don't tell Santa, but cookies are out! With the end of third-party cookies in 2023, marketers need to build a robust first-party data collection structure.
Interactive content such as surveys, polls, and/or quizzes are one way to collect data about your audience. Chat bots, as mentioned above, are another good example. You could even look at hosting an Instagram Live with an ongoing poll - how's that for combining trends!
Our very last trend is the way in which marketers are viewing the customer journey. The focus has shifted from "customer as the outcome" to "customer as the focus". Not surprising considering how the behavior of consumers is shifting.
This means harnessing the momentum of your happy customers at each stage in the customer journey to transform customers into brand promoters. Keep the wheel spinning and you have a successful business!
In marketing, as in life, the only constant is change. We're seeing a definite shift in how consumers are interacting with brands and online platforms, not only since the pandemic but with the phenomenal growth and integration of technology in our lives over the last few years.
The inbound marketing methodology is fast overtaking outbound strategies in terms of ROI with consumers becoming less interested in standard practices and more excited by creativity and being able to build a relationship, from the very beginning, with the brands they choose.
The trends above are critical factors to consider when it comes to developing your inbound marketing strategy - don't get left behind!