As with everyone else, our lives got flipped-turned-upside-down in 2020 and within a very short period of time marketing our business went virtual. There are however many challenges of virtual marketing in 2021.
After being able to see our wonderful clients in person, being able to pick up the phone to speak to someone, and generally having a very high amount of consistency, that all changed. We, like so many other businesses, had to change almost overnight to a more virtual and online world.
We had already started to plan ahead with a new way of generating leads, however, this accelerated the process. So we decided to ensure that we embrace the change and put a number of different features in place which a large number of our clients did also.
No reliance on the ‘physical’
Probably the biggest challenge for all businesses was the fact that all of the physical elements we took for granted, such as inviting your clients into beautiful offices or facilities, going for a quick coffee to discuss an idea, or indeed being able to get potential customers to tangibly feel a product, or take part in a meeting went. The reliance on the virtual world had been pushed to the forefront.
This meant that content needed to be fresh, new and in bulk, to show off different areas. Events needed to be fully online. All meetings had to be on a video call, with everyone, for the first time signing up to an account. Even the way that we all got in touch with each other, was less on the phone but more through e-mails and video calls. This will continue to create challenges in 2021. However, if you can get ahead, then you will be creating a competitive advantage.
Google’s digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik has explained the benefits of a 70:20:10 mindset :
70% of the time we’re going to focus on things that we know that are very core to our business. 20% is where we’re trying to push the boundaries. You get into the known unknowns. And the last 10% is a true crazy experimental stuff. Trying to figure out how to do uncomfortable things that we’re going to fail at more than we will succeed at. But with every success, you build a competitive advantage.
The ability of virtual allows you to be able to test, adapt and change at a more furious pace than ever before. That means you maybe need to move up the gears, compared to the physical marketing world. That should be a very exciting proposition for most. It means decisions can be made quickly, without huge meetings. It allows you to make mistakes and learn from them very quickly. So give it a go!
Even smaller attention span
The real benefit of physical space, is you have a captive audience. Virtually you need to think about catching the attention and keeping it for as long as possible. We would always recommend a hero film at the top of your funnel, to allow your content to pique interest. Then you follow that up with hub and help content, as well as key CTA’s throughout your journey. Utilizing Google and Microsoft Ads, with re-marketing capabilities is also recommended to ensure that customers are made aware of you as they traverse the internet. Challenges of virtual marketing in 2021 overcome once again!
Spend time to get to know each other on virtual meetings
Another challenge is the ability to really make a connection with your clients. We are so used to entering a video call, then getting straight into the meeting. One thing that is missing is the initial ‘chit-chat’ that happens when you are setting up in someone’s office. Or when you have an off-the-cuff decision to have lunch together, or at the end of the meeting to talk about sport or another common interest. Ensure at the beginning and end of meetings that it isn’t all ‘business’. Take time to get to know each other, if it is a new client or a client that you have known for decades. Remember authenticity is more important than money!
Right People, Right Place, Right Skills
Finally and in some ways most importantly, you need to ensure that you are hiring and recruiting the very best people you can. However, you need to ensure that they are 100% right for the role and have the skills which are going to allow you to be able to make the most of this virtual marketing. This could be someone who has real strength in social media. It could perhaps be someone with real strength in content making or writing. In the digital space, you are going to need experts or innovators, or disrupters who allow you to be able to create the most forward-thinking tools, ideas, and systems. Both for yourself and for external clients.
With those elements in tow, it will allow you to take on the Challenges of Virtual Marketing in 2021. To be able to really take advantage of all the possibilities it now brings.
We believe that great conversations spark chemistry. We create digital content and campaigns that ignite conversations and give your audience something to talk about. Let’s get started by using our Project Planner.
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