How Digital Marketing Is Changing—and What You Need to Do About It
Digital marketing is changing now more than ever thanks to the COVID-19 crisis of 2020. Not since smartphones have marketers and advertisers had to adapt so quickly to the changing landscape. The question… are you adapting yet (or enough)?
Before diving into the changes and some ways to adapt quickly, you might be thinking, “What constitutes “digital marketing” anyways?”
As Investopedia said,
“Digital marketing is the use of the Internet to reach consumers. Digital marketing is a broad field, including attracting customers via email, content marketing, search platforms, social media, and more.”
With social distancing and less in person events, businesses need a strong digital marketing strategy in 2021. In this post, I’ll share with you some of the biggest shifts that happened in 2020 and how to quickly adapt this year.
How Digital Marketing Changed in 2020
The global pandemic flipped the script to most consumer buying preferences last year. Instead of in-person seminars/conferences, the world is now on Zoom meetings. Instead of going into the office, people are working and shopping online. As you probably realize, without a good digital marketing strategy, you will get left behind!
As HubSpot said,
“At this stage, digital marketing is vital for your business and brand awareness. It seems like every other brand has a website. And if they don’t, they at least have a social media presence or digital ad strategy. Digital content and marketing is so common that consumers now expect and rely on it as a way to learn about brands.”
Here are some of the biggest changes to digital marketing and how you should respond in 2021.
Artificial Intelligence (Augmented Reality)
Augmented reality aka artificial intelligence is the future. AR helps calm buyers uncertainty and create a seamless experience from offline to online shopping. As this article said,
“The major concern of online shoppers is ‘uncertainty’. They are usually unsure of whether a particular product is right for them or perfectly meets their specifications. Not all customers have the imagination power to correlate the products available online with the real-world space.
This is where Augmented Reality technology helps! With AR-based e-commerce app, customers are more confident in their purchases and feel that they are making the right choice.”
Huge companies like eBay, Amazon and others are using AR to increase sales and help buyers make better purchases. This is just the beginning as it takes the guesswork out of shopping for consumers. Make sure to look for opportunities to add this into your business model in the very near future.
Cross Channel Marketing
In 2021, buyers are more sophisticated than ever before.
Before anyone signs up for a coaching program or joins a membership or digital course, they’re going to do their research about you and your brand. This is why cross channel marketing is so important. It helps you get ahead of the competition and put your best foot forward for future consumers.
Think about it, the last thing you want is for someone to Google you and find nothing! This usually won’t get them closer to becoming a customer. But with cross channel marketing, you can control your brand online and help build trust before they ever work with you.
You might be thinking, what is cross channel marketing anyways?
As Oracle said:
“Cross-channel marketing comes down to engaging with your customers or prospects across every digital channel and any device. From the inbox to social networks to the web, and across laptops, tablets, and smartphones, today’s consumer moves seamlessly and fully expects you to be there with them, providing a truly integrated experience.”
Consumers expect a lot and it’s up to you to provide an amazing experience for them. By aligning your message across several channels, all of them will work together to get your audience from A to B; all while building trust.
A consistent message can give new leads a great first impression of you and your business. Plus, can stand out as an expert in your niche, which will help lead to more leads and hopefully, more sales as well.
Another emerging trend is the power of chatbots.
As this article about digital marketing mentioned, “Top benefits of chatbots are 24-hour service (64%), instant responses to inquiries (55%), and answers to simple questions (55%).”
Let’s break down these three factors and think about how you could use this in your business. First, chatbots provide 24-hour service. In a world where people want information and answers at their fingertips, this is good and bad for entrepreneurs, especially if you’re a solopreneur as it can feel overwhelming.
That being said, chatbots can help do more and work less to combat some of the entrepreneurial overwhelm. Since the alternative is trying to answer questions from prospective customers yourself, this is a great way to save time.
Second, instant response to inquiries. Think about all the emails you answer to inquiries that are incredibly repetitive? Instead of hiring a chat desk service or a VA to help, chatbots can help answer questions on autopilot.
Lastly, they can answer simple questions as well. This means less work for you and ensures you don’t have to hire more people for repetitive tasks.
Chatbots for Webinars
Speaking of chatbots, they are also a great way to get more people to sign up for your webinars too. Since chatbots work 24/7/365, they can help you get more people to your webinar while you sleep or work on other areas of your business.
ManyChat is a messenger bot used by tons of clients for live and automated webinars and integrates seamlessly with EasyWebinar. For a low monthly fee, it’s a great addition to email reminders and text messaging to increase your show up rate.
The 3 Pillars of Digital Marketing
While there are a lot of new features coming out, let’s not forget about fundamentals. These are three of the most important pillars to help grow your digital marketing footprint and provide the best experience for your audience.
1. Email Marketing
If there’s one thing that all digital marketing entrepreneurs have in common it’s this… an engaged email list. While social media platforms come and go, email marketing is still vitally important to your business.
If there’s one thing to focus on above all else in 2021, I would say it’s email marketing. But you need to go about it the right way.
Even though people have been saying “Email marketing is dead” for the past five plus years, I 100% disagree. And so would successful entrepreneurs who use EasyWebinar like Amy Porterfield. She used webinars to grow her list to 250,000 loyal subscribers and regularly promotes her free and paid content to them.
Since you control your email list, it’s essential to collect leads, engage with your audience regularly, and sell occasionally.
Email Marketing is the New Face to Face
When I say email marketing is important, I don’t mean you should sell to your audience every single email. Quite the opposite actually; as a Smart Insights article said,
“Seamless user journeys must be combined with the kind of experience a consumer would expect face-to-face. Long gone are the days of cold, hard selling: just like website visitors, email users expect to be treated like a valued contact from the outset. Again, COVID-19 has accelerated the need for considered communications and digital experiences that put the customer’s needs at the heart of your strategy.”
From the get go, you want to have email sequences set up to welcome visitors, not just pitch them instantly. If you start selling right out of the gates, it’s easy to lose subscribers and watch your open rates decline.
Instead, treat your email subscribers as if you’re meeting them in person. You wouldn’t meet someone and instantly pitch your services, so why do it in your emails?
Finally, email marketing is so important because never forget, you don’t own your social media followers, fans or subscribers. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or whichever other platform does. Do everything in your power to get your social media followers to become your email subscribers so you can grow your contact list.
As more users shift to online marketing, EasyWebinar saw a massive amount of growth in 2020 and expect it to happen even more in 2021. With no return to “normal” in sight, it’s important to connect with your users online now more than ever. Since in-person events aren’t happening anytime soon, shift to a digital experience by running more webinars.
I suggest having a mix of both live and automated webinars to help you not burn out. One thing I’ve noticed is that entrepreneurs new to running webinars stick to live instead of automated webinars. But here’s the thing, both of them should be a part of your digital marketing strategy.
While live webinars tend to convert higher than automated ones, they might not work for your audience due to scheduling issues. Instead, make sure you create automated webinars to allow users to sign on when it’s convenient for them and help you scale on autopilot.
Here are a few ways to use automation to help grow your business in 2021:
- Add to your nurture sequence. A great place to invite your audience to an automated webinar is during your initial nurture sequence.
- Add to your social media bio. If you have a link multiplier like Lynx in Bio or Link Tree, add your automated webinar URL in there as well. Promote your webinar in your stories, posts or when you go live and direct them to register with the link in your bio.
- CTA for new content (blog posts, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc.). Finally, don’t forget about automated webinars as a CTA for your fresh new content. Since you probably create at least one new piece of content each week, make sure to link to your evergreen webinar for more leads and sales.
Want more information about converting a live webinar into an automated funnel? Click here to read our 5-step strategy.
Lastly, I have to include social media as well. With so many free platforms, it’s never been easier to connect with your audience and generate new leads via social media. This could be a book in itself but I wanted to give you a few best practices for social media in the digital world:
- Quality > quantity. One good piece of content is better than 3-4 pieces of “okay” content.
- Make your content useful. Since you don’t have much time to capture your audience’s attention, keep your content simple. Don’t give them a 10-minute guide on Instagram, instead, give them a quick win to build momentum. Then, invite them to join your email list or sign up for a webinar for more in-depth content.
- Use it as business media (stop scrolling). According to Digital Marketing, “In the United States, people spend 2 hours and 3 minutes on social media each day.” As an entrepreneur, your time is valuable so make sure that you limit your social media time and instead, think of it as “business media” time. While direct messaging prospective clients is great, don’t get caught in the vortex of social media when you could be growing your business.
Want more content about using webinars and social media? Check out these blog posts to help you out:
- How to Use Instagram to Promote a Webinar: Learn how to get your IG followers into email subscribers to deepen the relationship and grow your list.
- How to Turn YouTube Subscribers Into Webinar Leads: If you love running webinars, YouTube is a great way to generate more leads and sales. Don’t forget, YouTube is the #2 search engines in the world! Use it to become an expert in your niche and invite your subscribers to your live and automated webinars.
Digital marketing will only continue to change so it’s up to you to adapt so you can thrive. I want you thinking about thriving, not just surviving this year. With so much amazing technology at our fingertips, there has never been a better time to start or scale your online business.
Remember, stick with the fundamentals:
- Email List: The cornerstone of your business. If your social media gets deleted tomorrow, your business will keep thriving because you have an email list!
- Webinars: Live and automated webinars are the best way to convert your email list into paying customers. Paired together, they can help you impact more people and generate more revenue in 2021.
- Social Media: Finally, don’t forget to show up on social media to attract more people into your community. Pick 1-2 platforms and go all in to connect with your audience and generate new leads.
Once you nail these three fundamentals, make sure to add in some new tips and tricks (like cross channel marketing) that I mentioned as well. Paired together, you will have everything you need to build a world-class brand that helps your audience so you can build your business.
As digital marketing continues to evolve, we want to help you keep up with the times and help your business run smoothly! With EasyWebinar, we’re making it simple to use webinars as the backbone of your digital marketing strategy.
When you join any of our FREE trial plans, you instantly gain access to:
- Live webinars: Run highly engaged events, interact with your audience via live chat, and share your message in high definition quality. Live webinars will help you test out new offers, learn from your audience, and build tons of trust with your audience.
- Automated webinars: While live webinars are great, don’t forget about automated webinars. In the spirit of automation and having machines help you out whenever possible, automated webinars are a great solution. Automated webinars will help you generate leads on autopilot, grow your revenue, and teach your audience on autopilot. Plus, they have the same look and feel of a live webinar.
- Integrations: Finally, EasyWebinar integrates with your favorite software to make your system work perfectly.