Digital marketing has undergone a sea change in the last five years or so. Inbound marketing was fairly easy in 2012, when you could use SEO to rank for original blog content that you published regularly. However, since every company is now using the tactic, it has become stale and ineffective.
I was in conversation with Bob Ruffolo of IMPACT and Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion and got to pick their brains on the current state of sales and marketing, and where they are headed in the future. Here are some of the key takeaways from the conversation.
Video Is the Key to Inbound Marketing
In a landscape full of written content, video can help you stand out. It can also lend your marketing campaign that human touch missing from written content. Video allows you to talk to your audience directly, which, in turn, helps build trust. Trust is crucial when it comes to building a loyal fan following.
While video is not the only way to build trust, it is definitely one of the most effective ways. The other way to build trust is to give your audience genuine, useful content on a regular basis.
Educating Your Team Is Crucial
A lot has been said about the efficacy of videos in inbound marketing. However, a lot of times, companies fail to capitalize on the medium, primarily because there is resistance within the organization. The resistance stems from lack of education. The sales team does not understand why to use videos in their sales process. On the other hand, the marketing team views videos primarily as a marketing tool. However, videos can be a powerful sales tool -- think how-to videos and videos showcasing the features of your product in an engaging manner.
Education can solve this dissonance between sales and marketing teams. In the current media environment, it is important that the two departments work in tandem, instead of working in silos.
The Days of Hacking Inbound Might Be Over
Given the kind of saturation we have reached in the inbound space, the way forward seems to be old-school methods of marketing. Think customer success stories, a brand's voice and so forth. However, these old-school marketing methods are going to get impetus from automation. Automation will make marketing activities a lot easier in the near future. AI will also start making an impact in the field by 2020.
Speed Is the Keyword for Future Success
Consumers want quick answers to all their problems. If they have an issue with a product, they want an immediate resolution to it. Companies that can deliver information and solutions to consumers the fastest are going to succeed at inbound marketing. Your website should help people answer their most important questions almost immediately.
Facebook Live and Email Have Immense Potential
A company's Facebook page hardly has an organic reach. That's the way Facebook's algorithm works. The social media giant wants businesses to pay for their reach. Facebook Live is an effective way to hack reach, and the same goes for Facebook groups. In fact, you are better off investing your time in building a Facebook group than keeping your page updated. Groups have a better reach and a more engaged audience.
Email signatures are underutilized. Sales videos as email signatures can be a brilliant marketing strategy. There is also Soapbox, which allows you to send videos as email responses. Soapbox allows you to build an emotional connection with your audience.
Watch the video:
Or listen to the audio: