10 Inbound Marketing Trends

Inbound Marketing Trends: An Intro to Our Blog Series

By Vanessa KnipperFeb 24 /2022

Inbound marketing has earned its place in the minds and hearts of modern marketers. While this speaks to its ROI — generating three times as many leads as outbound marketing for every dollar spent — it’s also a reminder the digital marketing space is becoming much more crowded.

What’s great about inbound marketing is that there’s always room to pivot. With ongoing efforts like SEO optimization, monthly blogging, and email marketing working in the background, you can lean into new initiatives that allow you to connect with your audience in nontraditional ways. And in tandem with these efforts, identify supporting pieces to help nurture these relationships.

To help guide you down this road, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of inbound marketing trends for 2022. See what new opportunities await for you to enhance your inbound strategy!

10 Inbound Marketing Trends

1. Engage in a Human-to-Human Way

Webinars have long been an effective marketing tool for companies. But in a time when people are especially keen on that sense of human connection, hosting an interactive digital workshop and taking an omni-channel approach to its promotion can have an even greater impact.

That was the recent case for one of our clients, a strategic management consulting firm. On a routine basis, the client hosts two-hour digital workshops where they help attendees work through a specific challenge and supply them with tools to implement change. Designed for maximum engagement, these workshops function more like a back-and-forth conversation versus a traditional lecture-based format.

The unique nature of these events paired with promotion through various channels — emails, social media, paid ads, and retargeting ads to anyone who engaged with a relevant piece of content — led to a good conversion rate.

2. Ask Provocative Questions

We’ve all come across those questions before that make us stop and think. What came first: the chicken or the egg? When a business can create a similar scenario for their audience, it bodes well for intriguing individuals to connect and learn more.

Fast Company utilizes this tactic across their marketing efforts, from their articles to their podcast. In one podcast, they ask: Is creativity the enemy of productivity? In another, they ask: How do you know if you’re about to burn out? Each question is designed to give readers a pause and pique their interest — and backed by commentary from industry experts, deliver real insights.

Woven into the scope of a multi-channel marketing campaign, these probing questions can act as a catalyst for attracting a wider audience to your brand.

3. Remember to Retarget

When first-time visitors come to your website, 92% are there for reasons other than to make a purchase. Many are searching for products/services, or evaluating variables of different options. 

Retargeting ads let you keep the lines of communication open with these individuals. Using the context of website pages they’ve already visited, you can create compelling ads that meet these folks where they’re at in the funnel.

In the case of one client, an early childhood education center, retargeting ads were created for individuals who visited the business’s preschool page but didn’t convert. The offer promoted sign up for enrollment, with the added incentive of free-of-charge supplies, meals, and field trips. The ads generated 115,000 impressions, 476 clicks, and 64 conversions.

4. Use Video Across All Channels

Video seems to be popping up everywhere these days, and with good reason. The number of online videos people watch has almost doubled since 2018, quickly becoming a preferred way to consume content.

While videos come in many forms — from a focus on recruitment to product-specific promotions — they all lend themselves to promotion across multiple platforms. For instance, you can take employee testimonials from a recruitment video and turn them into social media snackables. You can also embed the video into blog posts related to industry careers and company culture.

One common misconception with video marketing (and likely a deterrent to invest) is the idea that videos need to be heavily produced to be effective. Utilize stock footage where available, and tell a powerful story with the help of your employees who add value and personalization.

5. Leverage ABM Marketing

Personalization carries a lot of weight in inbound marketing. In fact, fast-growing companies are reported to earn 40% more of their revenue from such personalized interactions as compared to slow-growing companies.

This idea lends itself to the value of account-based marketing (ABM). Take it from DocuSign, a leading provider of electronic signing solutions. Seeing enterprise buyers visit their site and then bounce before accessing important content, DocuSign launched a targeted display ad campaign to reach 450+ enterprise accounts across six industries. Delivering industry-specific messages to these target audiences helped increase the sales pipeline by 22% across those industries.

6. Pitch Third-Party Outlets

Guest blog posts are a win-win for both businesses and third-party outlets. Businesses get the chance to reach a well-established, targeted audience and gain industry authority, while the third-party outlet has the resources to share fresh insights and expertise with their network.

In 2021, 93% of editors reported that they would publish more guest content or maintain their current volume. With that framework in mind, it’s an ideal time for companies to conduct their guest content outreach and forge these types of relationships.

As an example, we recently reached out to University Business on behalf of a client that offers remote energy monitoring system solutions. With a deep-rooted history of servicing university labs and an understanding of their energy-intensive nature, we helped pitch and create a thought leadership piece around how lab energy monitoring supports sustainability on campus.

7. Make a Dynamic About Page

A company’s about page is not always a top priority. But in a time when people are doing more of their research online, its role in your brand story becomes more valuable than ever before.

While there are plenty of great examples to draw inspiration from on this front, one that we like is National Geographic. Their about page leads with a strong video that builds on the company’s mission and showcases the behind-the-scenes of their people capturing footage in the field. The conversation on the page then funnels into the company’s storied background, a highlight reel of company news articles, and finally introductions to their leadership team (with photos included).

8. Lean Into Ungated Content

Traditionally, resources like eBooks and guides have lived behind forms. While this approach is still used in inbound marketing strategies, we’ve seen a shift in keeping more content ungated. Beneficial from both a brand awareness and an SEO standpoint, ungated eBooks and guides make it frictionless for your audience to access educational content, helping you build trust with prospects and move them down the marketing/sales funnel.

A good place to start thinking about the gated vs. ungated debate is by conducting an audit of your existing resources. What types of conversion rates are you seeing? If conversion rates are low, consider ungating the eBook or guide and measure the impact of this change.

Generally speaking, getting buy-in from leads after they consume your content can be a positive indicator that they are qualified and have a real interest in your products/services.

9. Build Content as Sales Tools

In talks with a prospect, it’s important that sales teams have access to the right materials at the right time to add value to the conversation. And businesses recognize this need: Google searches for “sales enablement” have increased more than 50% year over year, and over 80% of sales execs cite content search and utilization as the top area to improve their productivity.

For one client, a designer and manufacturer of electrical connectors, we created an interactive website page to support sales conversations around their custom engineering process. While walking through the six-step process, the page promotes relevant client success stories and a video that highlights the durability and quality of the company’s products. These various touch points create a more compelling story to share with prospective clients, one that can help move the needle in the right direction.

10. Bridge the Marketing & RevOps Gap

When asked if they planned to invest in revenue operations in 2021, over 63% of organizations responded yes. Yet, only 25% of these respondents are satisfied with how their current revenue team is able to report on performance metrics and aligned views. 

One of the missing links tends to be tying revenue generation to inbound marketing efforts. To this end, less than half of the surveyed organizations reported that their sales team had access to the company’s marketing platform and the valuable data housed within it.

Rather than going through the work of building out and managing a large tech stack, the better bet is to invest in a comprehensive platform like HubSpot. HubSpot brings together all of these different tech stack layers — from your CRM software, to your content management system, to marketing automation — in one convenient platform that is accessible across departments. Paired with the right strategy, you’ll bring sales and marketing closer together than ever before.

Implement These Inbound Marketing Trends

Successful inbound marketing is a matter of leveraging data to understand what has worked in the past and continuing to explore new ways to build upon these efforts. These combinations of elements help you turn high-quality potential customers into long-term, profitable partnerships.

If your business could use help with strategizing and implementing these efforts, connect with our team at Kuno Creative. Request a consultation where we can discuss your marketing needs and offer concrete solutions on how to help you find new success in 2022.

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The Author

Vanessa Knipper

Vanessa helps Kuno clients achieve their business and marketing goals with her many years of experience in both traditional and inbound marketing strategies. Her success stories span industries from medical device clinical research to photofinishing and camera brands, and one of the largest orchid growers in the U.S., assisting them in winning business against national competitors.