[NEW DATA] This blog post takes a look at the newly released data on content marketing channels from the "State Of Inbound 2016 Report" by HubSpot.
According to Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, "The majority of our over 4,500 respondents are non-HubSpot customers hailing from marketing backgrounds in B2B small and mid-sized businesses. Half of the companies represented here generate under $1 million each year. With data collected from all corners of the map, this document represents over 132 countries. A truly global community. . .We’ve taken these incredibly diverse insights to provide the state and to then predict the future of inbound. So along with the benchmark data you’ve come to expect, we’ve also looked at new trends and new technologies this year, too."
Results are in: Inbound is here to stay
The data doesn’t lie. When asked what their organization’s primary approach was to marketing, 73% of respondents said Inbound Marketing. As Halligan correctly sums up, “The world is becoming more inbound. It’s growing more authentic, less interruptive.”
Though adopting inbound strategies is one thing, doing it effectively continues to be a struggle for many marketers. By looking at respondents’ answers about marketing priorities and challenges from 2016, we can get a better picture of what the shift will be as we explore what new content channels marketers will be adding in 2017.
Marketing Priorities and Challenges
The top two inbound marketing priorities among survey respondents were Growing SEO/organic presence (66%) and Blog content creation (60%). Ranked at the top of marketing challenges was Generating traffic and leads (67%).
What does this mean?
Everything is connected: Growing SEO/organic presence in order to generate more traffic and leads proves both a priority and a challenge. In order to do this better, 60% of marketers focused on making blog content creation a priority, because, “Blog content is the marketers’ bread and butter”, according to the report.
But with Google’s constantly changing SEO algorithms, it can be very difficult for marketers to create written content that is consistently fresh, authentic and targets the right audience. Because of this challenge, more and more organizations are looking to diversify their content by adding new channels as they look ahead into the coming year.
4 Content Channels to Add in 2017
Youtube (48%) and Facebook Video (39%) came out as the top-two content channels marketers plan to add in 2017. Not surprisingly, video is becoming more and more popular among marketers as consumers are watching more and more videos online. With constant improvements in technology, video has become cheaper to produce, easier to access, and instantly able to show real-world applications. With the ability to convey many messages in a short period of time, video content allows marketers to engage potential leads by satisfying their audience’s need for information and entertainment, both at the same time.
33% of respondents said they plan to add Instagram to their marketing efforts in the upcoming year. While the use of video content proves to be on the rise, there is still relevance in using visual content in a marketing strategy. Although Instagram has video-sharing capabilities, marketers can also use this social media platform to share visual creativity through authentic images or instant snapshots of their brand.
- Messaging Apps
The popularity of messaging apps is rapidly rising as a valuable content marketing channel. While only 20% of respondents stated that they plan to add Messaging Apps to their marketing efforts next year, it still ranked in the top half of new content channels on the radar for 2017. Because public sharing through social media platforms is shifting to more private interactions between users, messaging apps are gaining ground in the inbound marketing world. In addition to a more direct connection with the audience, these apps offer low to no-cost communication channels that appeal to often tight marketing budgets.
According to a report written by Business Insider, in 2016 so far, 21% of U.S. adults listen to podcasts at least once a month. That statistic has more than doubled since podcasts began to catch on in 2008. This audio-content platform not only allows marketers to reach an information-hungry audience, it also provides the opportunity to showcase a brand’s personality, provide entertainment and ultimately, build a following that translates to more leads.
All data points to this: Technology is firmly in place and with inbound marketing practices, we have near-limitless reach capabilities. Whether marketers choose to implement or improve on the use of video, Instagram, Messaging Apps and/or Podcasts, they’ll be able to keep their marketing platform ahead of the curve moving into 2017.