The Biggest Changes in Inbound Marketing Since 2009 (and how they affect you)

Nearly everything about the landscape of the internet has changed over the last five years, and inbound marketing is no exception. One thing that hasn’t changed about inbound marketing, however, is its effectiveness compared to its irritating counterpart, interruption marketing. Unlike traditional forms of interruption marketing, including popup ads, inbound marketing does not interrupt the path of a prospective lead. Instead, inbound marketing methods, such as content creation, seek to enhance the client’s experience by providing valuable information and assistance through a non-invasive approach.

Influences have undoubtedly aided the evolution of inbound marketing over the last five years. However, what are those influences, and just how have they changed inbound marketing? Two of the most significant ways inbound marketing has changed are the proliferation of cell phones and the growth of social media.

Social Media

The acceleration in growth of social media, as well as the sheer number of new sites within the last five years, has had a substantial impact on inbound marketing. It’s been both good and not-so-good for marketers.

Facebook, for example, has well over one billion active users, 829 million of whom visit daily. This is great news for those who are looking for an outlet to reach as many people as possible with a single post. However, the flip side is that, because Facebook has gotten so big, it has become more difficult for marketers to reach their intended audience organically.

The same can be said for Twitter, Instagram, and a handful of other social media sites that have grown or been added to the social media lexicon since 2009. But, instead of giving up on Facebook and its counterparts entirely, decide which platforms are right for your business. Then, experiment with different variables, including timing, volume and types of posts, to determine which yields the best results.

Mobile Users

In the last five years, cell phone use has grown exponentially, with about half of all adults in the United States and the UK owning smartphones. Additionally, between December 2012 and December 2013, shopping on tablets and mobile phones increased in the UK by 18%.

What does that mean for inbound marketing? It means that when you’re planning your marketing strategies, more consideration needs to be given to this growing demographic. For example, make sure that all of your efforts are optimised for mobile via responsive design, whether that means cell phones or tablets. The best inbound marketing tactics are wasted if the blog or opt-in email form appear skewed on the end user’s mobile device.

Additionally, mobile users don’t want to read a tome or be struck by a myriad of overwhelming visuals. Not only is it aesthetically unappealing, but it can take a long time for the images to load, and before you know it, your bounce rate has gone up. So, if you’re working on an inbound marketing strategy that focuses on, or at least includes, mobile users, don’t weigh them down with long, drawn out blogs or articles, and keep the visuals purposeful.

Five years isn’t a long time in the scheme of things, but it’s a lifetime on the internet. If you’re an inbound marketer or business owner who runs your own marketing campaign, consider the evolution of social media and mobile platforms every time you assess your inbound marketing strategy.