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21 Expert Marketing Techniques
to try in 2021

While 2020 might not have gone as planned, one aspect of the business world that grew from the twists and turns of 2020 was digital marketing. When businesses had to pivot to operating virtually, digital marketing was there to help business owners generate revenue like never before. We’re not sure what 2021 is going to look like for businesses, but what we do know is that digital marketing is here to stay. So, we’ve compiled a list of 21 expert marketing techniques that you definitely should bring with you from 2021 or resolve to try in 2021.

1. Start Using the StoryBrand Framework

WHAT IT IS:

The StoryBrand Framework is a 7-part framework that will helps people clarify their message and create marketing that generates leads and converts those leads into sales seamlessly.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

At Evolve Global Marketing, our CEO and Chief Strategist is a StoryBrand certified guide, so most of our marketing includes elements from StoryBrand. We think it’s a powerful way to create story-based marketing that actually makes your customers want to buy.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

To try out StoryBrand, you head over to the StoryBrand website and check out one of their offerings. Or, if you’re looking to hire someone who can help you with the StoryBrand Framework and messaging techniques, look for someone who is a StoryBrand Certified Guide (psst…like us!).

2. Create & Implement Lead Generators

WHAT IT IS:

Lead generators, also known as lead magnets and lead generating PDFs, are a part of your complete sales funnel. They are used to generate leads (Duh!) and collect email addresses to help you turn leads into sales.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Lead generators are an effective and pretty easy way to generate leads quickly. You’ll usually create lead generators on topics that you’re very familiar with, so it shouldn’t be a super time consuming process for you. When done properly, they can also help position your brand as a generous brand (which is a plus for you!). And because they work so well, they’re definitely worth the effort.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Start by brainstorming what you’d like your lead generator to be (i.e. a PDF, a guide, a video series, etc.). If you want some more info on the lead generating process, check out this blog.

3. Start With Website Wireframes

WHAT IT IS:

Website wireframes are exactly what they sound like – an outline (AKA the “wireframe”) of a website page. They lay out the elements, copy, and rough design of website pages before the page is designed and developed.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Wireframes are awesome because they save you, your team, and your client time and money. It’s much easier to make edits to a wireframe than an actual site, so by collaborating, reviewing, and editing a wireframe, you’re saving time and money for everyone involved. Even more, it improves the quality of your website.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

If you’re new to wireframing, we’d recommend doing some research on wireframe examples so that you can see what they look like. (They’re super simple and easy, but it’ll be helpful for you to see them before starting). And if you still need convincing that wireframes are worth it, here are more reasons why you shouldn’t skip the wireframe when it comes to websites.

4. Schedule Your Social Media

WHAT IT IS:

Use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite, Later, or Buffer to schedule your social media posts in advance.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Social media can be tedious if you’re creating posts and posting them every single day. Nevertheless, strong social media is absolutely essential for your business to grow. With social media scheduling tools, you create your posts and schedule them in advance. That way, social media doesn’t become a burden and you can just sit back and reap the benefits.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Choose the scheduling platform that’s right for you, create and schedule your posts, and you’re good to go!

5. Integrate Your Software & Apps

WHAT IT IS:

Integrations are a way to connect your software to other third-party apps.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Without integrating your software and apps, you’re not using your technology well. Unfortunately, by failing to integrate, you are creating more work for yourself to manually connect your software to third-party apps. When you integrate, everything is connected in the backend and runs seamlessly.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Integrations are something best left to the experts because they require a solid technical foundation. If you have one, that’s great, go ahead and look up what you need to do to integrate and which of your apps integrate. If you aren’t tech savvy, we recommend hiring someone who can integrate for you or taking enough time to learn how to do it properly.

6. Create & Run an Online Webinar

WHAT IT IS:

Online webinars are short online courses or events. They are versatile and you can do pretty much any type of event that you’d do in person. Webinars can include classes, lectures, concerts, cooking shows, etc.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Everything switched to being virtual this year, and online webinars were a great way for brands to continue to connect and engage with their audience. While we’re not sure what 2021 will look like, we are sure that webinars will continue to be a great way to engage with your audience from wherever you are.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

First thing’s first, decide what your webinar is going to be about. You should do your webinar on something you’re an expert in and that’s relevant to your business, so start there when brainstorming.

7. Or…Create an Online Course

WHAT IT IS:

Similar to online webinars, online courses became much more popular in 2020, and we don’t forsee them going away in 2021. They are courses or classes that are delivered online through a platform that allows the student to learn about something, learn a new skill or language, or anything in between.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Online courses are an awesome way to make passive income, especially if you market your course well (more on that later). Furthermore, they’re a great way to build your brand reputation and identity and establish subject-matter expertise in a certain area. Plus they’re super fun to create and can reach a wider audience, which means that you get to help even more people.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Just like with your online webinar, before you go and start recording videos, you need to know what your online course is going to be about. While you may be able to stretch into different areas for a 90-minute webinar, we recommend that you only create a course in something you’re an expert in. Once you’ve figured out the topic, you can start to create the course outline. (Already past those steps? Here’s a more comprehensive guide on creating an online course.)

8. Implement a Complete Sales Funnel

WHAT IT IS:

A complete sales funnel is a multi-stage process that takes your customers from awareness to sale.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

We think that sales funnels are arguably the most effective way to generate leads and convert them into sales. That’s why we use them with our clients (and with our own business!).

HOW TO GET STARTED:

If you want to do it yourself, you’ll need to do a little more research on complete sales funnels before getting started. Learn about all of the components and then start implementing the states. If DIY sales funnel seems like too much for you, check out this online course that teaches business owners how to do them. Or if you want to be hands-off in this process and just reap the benefits, hire someone to create your sales funnel.

9. Automate Your Email Marketing

WHAT IT IS:

Manual email marketing is so…2020. Ok well actually, automated email marketing came way before 2020, but if you haven’t ditched it yet, now’s the time. Automating your email marketing means putting the systems in place in the backend so that you don’t have to manually send marketing emails.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

With all of the affordable (and even free!) automation software out there, there’s no reason that you should be wasting time manually sending emails. It’s also much more effective and efficient to automate your emails as opposed to sending them manually, and an easy way to avoid human error. Plus, the only way that you can scale your email marketing is if your emails are automated.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Check out the different email automation software available (some crowd favorites are MailChimp, Klaviyo, and InfusionSoft). Before you click buy, remember that you’ll have to learn how to use these software before you can automate your emails. So, don’t go with the cheapest or most popular one without knowing if it’s beginner-friendly. If you’re not tech-savvy, you might want to consider taking a quick online course on email marketing, doing more research, or of course, hiring someone to do it for you.

10. Utilize Canva

WHAT IT IS:

Canva is a graphic design platform commonly used to create social media graphics.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Canva is a free (or inexpensive, if you spring for premium) tool that creates beautiful graphics. We use Canva for our social media and a lot of our clients’ and we really recommend you give it a try.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Create an account on Canva and check out these short (~3 to 5 min) videos on Canva that we made to help you to level up your Canva skills or get started if you’re a beginner.

11. Increase Your Content Marketing

WHAT IT IS:

Content marketing is the use of content to market your product or service. The actual content can vary; common content includes videos, blogs, PDFs, guides, and articles.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Content marketing is an effective and proven way to increase audience engagement, drive growth and sales, and improve your brand identity.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

If you’re already doing different types of content marketing, start by strategizing on how you’re going to change and increase it in 2021 and then go and implement it. If you haven’t started yet, then your first step is to plan it out and get started creating. For more on content marketing, check out this blog on how content marketing will help your business.

12. Create a Brand Identity Guide

WHAT IT IS:

A Brand Identity Guide is a document that has your brand strategy, brand personality, brand messaging, target audience, and brand design all in one place.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Once created, businesses can refer back to their Brand Identity Guide whenever they are creating pretty much anything for their brand. New social media post but don’t know what to say? Refer to brand guide. Need some info on your target market? Refer to brand guide. Even better, when a new employee is hired or an outside contractor is brought in, the Brand Identity Guide is a quick and effective way to get them caught up on your brand.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Brand Identity Guides take quite a bit of expertise, time, and effort to create. So, for this one, we recommend working with a marketing professional. If you are a marketing professional, then plan out the components that you’d like in your guide and get started creating it. For more info, you can refer to this comprehensive blog on our brand identity process.

13. Optimize Your Blogs for SEO

WHAT IT IS:

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a term that refers to the optimization of your content to improve your ranking and visibility on search engines.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

While some may regard SEO as a thing of the past, it is most certainly not something that you want to leave in 2020! When a potential client searches for something related to your business, you want to show up on the first page of the search results. SEO optimization is one way to help achieve that.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Luckily, there are a lot of resources available online that will help you improve your SEO. For something so impactful, SEO is also pretty easy. If you’re not sure where to start on your research, check out this blog on how to optimize SEO for blogs.

14. Increase Engagement With Instagram Stories

WHAT IT IS:

If you’re reading this, you definitely know what Instagram and Instagram stories are. If not, download Instagram and open up the app — you’ll see Instagram Stories at the top…and now you’re all caught up!

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Instagram Stories are a great way to increase engagement. And while Instagram is very popular, Instagram Stories are still newer, so you have a competitive advantage by figuring out how to master and utilize them now.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

If you’re not on Instagram, your first step is to create an account and get posting. Once you do that, check out this blog post for creative ways to use Instagram Stories to increase engagement.

15. Test out Subscription Services

WHAT IT IS:

Subscription services are when customers subscribe to a business so that the business can provide ongoing services to their customers while customers provide recurring or ongoing payments.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

We think that if appropriate for your business, subscription services are a great way to increase revenue in a way that doesn’t require a ton of effort (i.e. more passive income!). Because subscription services create recurring revenue, you will be able to generate profit without constantly having to search for new customers.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

First, evaluate whether subscription services are right for you  and your business (this blog can help). If yes, then it’s time to start working on the logistics.

16. Update Your Branding

WHAT IT IS:

Branding is the process of creating a consistent experience for those who engage with your company.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

We love branding for a lot of reasons, but it’s not just about love here…it’s about need. Every business needs a strong and consistent brand identity if they want to grow and scale. That’s why it’s so important for you to have strong branding. (More on why branding is so important here).

HOW TO GET STARTED:

If you’re not an expert in marketing or branding, we recommend either taking the time to learn about it or hiring a trusted professional to update your branding for you. This is too important to do half-heartedly, so invest some time and effort into it. Trust us, it’ll be worth it.

17. New WordPress Plugins

WHAT IT IS:

WordPress plugins are ways to add new functionality or tools to your current WordPress site.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Plugins are a way to make your site that much more customized and tailored to your needs. Plus, there are so many plugins available that you’re sure to find one that will help improve your website.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Before you go crazy on plugins, you should think through what additional functionality your website needs. If you’re not even sure what plugins are available, take a look at this blog of the 20 best WordPress plugins.

18. Use Marketing Automation Software

WHAT IT IS:

Marketing automation software is software that is used to automate your marketing processes. Basically, it’s a way to stop doing your marketing manually and automate what can be automated.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Just like with email marketing, there’s really no reason to do all of your marketing manually with all of the free and inexpensive software available. There are so many benefits to automating (i.e. you’ll save time and money, increase efficiency, increase reach) that it’s worth it to get started ASAP.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Just like with some of our other tech recommendations, this is a good one to outsource or invest time in training so that you can do it properly (here’s an online course we like that will teach you exactly what you need to do and how to do it). To explore some of the software and functionality out there, check out this blog.

19. Change Your Homepage to StoryBrand

WHAT IT IS:

As we mentioned in #1, StoryBrand is a powerful way to clarify your messaging so that you create marketing that makes your customers want to buy your product. StoryBrand is especially helpful for website homepages, as it lays out all of the essential elements that should be included in a homepage.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

We think this is a great and effective way to reach your audience and communicate with them. We’ve seen a lot of success in StoryBrand websites and recommend the StoryBrand Framework.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Of course, it’s not for everyone, so it’s important to make sure that StoryBrand is right for your business before you go willy-nilly changing your website. For examples of what StoryBrand homepages look like in action and to learn how to design high-converting websites using the StoryBrand framework, check out this blog post.

20. Social Media, Social Media, Social Media

WHAT IT IS:

You already know.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Just like with branding, social media is more than just a “love” for us, it’s a need. Your business needs a strong social media presence to grow and be competitive…it’s as simple as that! Not convinced? Read about 12 ways social media can benefit your business here.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

There are a lot of quick and easy ways to improve your social media presence while also building a solid foundation for growth. Start with wherever you are now and grow from there. To kickstart your research, check out this post that has tips on how to build a better social media presence.

21. Create a Rock Solid Strategy for Your Marketing

WHAT IT IS:

The last technique on this blog post is the one that you should start with: strategy.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

Your marketing needs to have a purpose, and without a strategy, it’s hard to have effective marketing campaigns.

HOW TO GET STARTED:

Marketing strategy is one that’s easy to mess up. Many business owners tend to think that they know what marketing strategy means because they know about different marketing techniques. In reality, your marketing strategy needs to be carefully planned and backed with research and proven strategies. Our recommendation? Leave this one for the experts.

Hopefully this blog helped you see all of the amazing marketing strategies available to you. While some are more complex than others, after reading this, you should be able to employ at least one of these techniques to your business (but we hope you’ll do more than one!).

And of course, if you need any help along the way, we’re here to make your 2021 marketing dreams come true.

Happy Evolving!

Feel free to schedule a call with us and we can give you a helping hand. Happy evolving!

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