By Scott Oldford, contributing writer, as originally featured in Entrepreneur magazine
Online marketing has changed a lot over the last few years. The paradigm has shifted, and what worked for you last year won’t work for you this year. What got you to this point won’t get you to where you want to be, and your job as an entrepreneur is to keep up with this change.
The leads you bring in and the customers you attract are the lifeblood of your business, and it’s no longer enough to create a single marketing funnel and expect a return on your investment.
Today, your ability to create leads comes down to building trust and intimacy with those who need you the most, and to then convince them you’re the most relevant choice. You need to become omnipresent and top of mind, and you can do this by paying close attention to these six digital marketing trends.
1. Relevancy wins the war.
It’s no longer about collecting the most email addresses or leads. Those with the biggest lists used to dominate their niche, but this will not work in 2018 as people begin to crave greater intimacy and relevance.
In 2018, relevancy will win the war. If you want to increase your profit this year, it isn’t about creating more leads, it’s about building greater intimacy and relevance with the leads you have—so you provide the right solution, to the right people, at the right time.
2. Attention is the new currency.
If you’re not capturing (the right) attention in 2018, you lose your ability to compete without spending massive amounts of money on advertising and other online marketing.
Attention is getting more and more expensive as more businesses have easier access to it, meaning it’s more important than ever to make the most of the attention you capture. People are so overwhelmed with messages that they’re starved of significance. This is an opportunity for you, because as soon as you capture their attention, you capture their loyalty and wallet.
It’s no longer about spreading your marketing further and further for the sake of it. You have to spread it to the right people at the right time, and make the most of their attention the moment you capture it.
3. Be Tai Lopez (kind of).
Love or loathe him, Tai Lopez has mastered a specific skill: He appears to be everywhere.
His ability to reach the masses is an incredible feat, and defines what it means to be omnipresent to your audience. It isn’t about appearing everywhere to everyone, because this is both expensive and pointless.
No, the point of becoming omnipresent is to appear in front of those leads most relevant to you, and who you are most relevant to in return. This combination of omnipresence and relevance leads you to be top of mind, which in turn ensures your audience knows, likes and trusts you.
4. One platform is not enough.
If you think dominating a single platform is enough, think again.
Your leads on Facebook are not on YouTube, and those on YouTube are different to those reading Entrepreneur.com. As such, the key to your success is to repurpose your content across multiple (relevant) platforms.
In the past this was expensive and time-consuming, but these days, it’s easy to take a single video and repurpose it into a blog post, an in-depth article, a podcast episode and additional resources. In turn, you can repurpose this content into an email series, social media posts and micro videos.
5. Your marketing funnel has evolved.
You cannot build a single marketing funnel that takes your audience through a predefined step-by-step process anymore. They are onto you. They have been in dozens of marketing funnels like this already. You need to stand out; you need to turn your marketing funnel into an experience, and build real, significant trust.
Scarcity and countdown timers no longer work. Instead, you need to feed your audience with relevant content at the right time, based on their current level of awareness and engagement. This is the only way to build their trust, and their trust is what you need if you’re to make this year your best year yet.
6. Focus on the invisible ROI.
It used to be enough to focus your ad spend on lead generation and sales, but not anymore. My clients who see the greatest success are those who focus a large amount of their ad spend on brand awareness.
It’s not to say creating new leads isn’t important, because it is. But, you must also nurture your audience, not simply sell to them.
You need to become top of mind, and you don’t do this by forcing one sales messages after another on them. It takes time to build their trust and become the “go-to” expert they need. If you only focus on lead generation, you’ll continue to see your ad spend rise while your conversions go down.