The online marketing platform, HubSpot, recently published a 120-page long report on the evolution of marketing and the latest trends in the industry.

HubSpot interviewed over 3,400 marketers from around the world and collected data from more than 70,000 customers. Part one summary.

In this white paper, HubSpot lists ten different marketing strategies. We’ll cover the first few this article, and the rest in another.

· Content marketing

Let’s start with one of the biggest trends in the industry. According to the report, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. After all, content marketing is the bread and butter of any marketing strategy!

Especially in the context of a pandemic, companies need to be more vocal about the steps that they are taking to address the situation and use a reassuring tone. However, simply shifting tones isn’t enough. Companies must turn their words into action.

As Christian Kinnear, VP of Sales and Managing Director of HubSpot EMEA, mentions in an article titled “Business empathy: a must during times of crisis”:

“We expect companies to do more for society and come up with solutions for today’s problems. Empty words aren’t enough, companies need to act. Consumers aren’t easily fooled and can quickly tell when marketing techniques will backfire on them. Instead, companies need to put their words on social impact into action.”

In 2021, the report suggests creating content groups to help establish authority on certain topics.

“Even though content marketing trends are constantly changing, there are a handful of tried-and-true methods that provide a consistent return on investment. It’s good practice to created content groups to build authority on a certain topic, balance out your research-based content and influential content, as well as align your content with the issues and challenges that you are helping to solve,” specifies Kinnear.

It’s also a good idea to think about ways that you can interact with your audience without focusing solely on SEO. Try creating exclusive content or starting an engaging conversation from a new angle to build customer loyalty.

But don’t just pump out content for the sake of it. It won’t reflect well on your brand or bode well with your prospects and current audience.

· SEO

Content is one thing, visibility is another! Nearly 50% of the marketers interviewed believe that their SEO strategy effectively helps them reach their objectives.

“The problem with SEO is that it’s difficult to understand, predict and measure the impact of specific organic SEO measures. In 2021, SEO reporting will need to effectively align initiatives with results by going beyond traditional indicators such as keyword rankings and traffic to determine the impact of SEO on overall business objectives,” states INKEN KUHLMANN-RHINOW, Marketing Director, EMEA at HubSpot.

Things have become even more challenging because of COVID-19, which has significantly increased traffic to many company’s websites. Companies must rethink their SEO strategies to respond to the new expectations of their users and make the most of this increase in internet traffic.

However, unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. Normally, SEO strategies slowly-but-surely deliver results over time. However, in the time of COVID-19, nothing is guaranteed. This has forced companies to think differently and in the shorter term.

Business survival is now make-or-break—companies must update this kind of information (keywords and trends) more frequently than usual and immediately adapt their content when necessary.

· Social media marketing

As the number of online platforms climbs, three social media platforms continue to lead the pack in terms of return on investment.

Online tactics are a little all over the place :

There are several ways to improve your social media marketing strategy. The report suggests doubling down on monitoring, investing in private groups and doing away the idea that social media can only be used to spread information.

· Online advertising

This field was hit hard by the pandemic, as outlined in the report:

“Our May analysis revealed that ad spend was down for the twelfth week in a row from pre-Covid levels and is still down 4% week to week, despite slight increases on May 4 and 11. The consumer goods industry was the only industry whose ad spend was higher than it was pre-Covid. It is also the only industry that increased its ad spend every week. The significant drop in ad spend starting in early March 2020 through July, shows that many companies have either temporarily or indefinitely suspended their campaigns pending further developments.”

But…

“At the same time, during the same period, there was a significant increase in the number of marketing emails sent by companies to their customers and prospects (+33% compared to pre-Covid-19 figures). It seems as though marketers have changed their tune and embraced this means of communication even if it could harm their advertising campaigns.”

A new reality calls for a new approach. It looks like sales teams will need to reinvent the way they reel in new customers!

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