Last week I got to see a presentation from Ryan Deiss, Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer.com, at HYPERGROWTH Boston. His presentation, 3 Unpopular Marketing Trends, was refreshingly honest, bold, and down to earth. The Texas native talked about how social media is a waste of time, what it means to blog to an audience of one, and what he predicts is the “next big thing” in marketing.
Ryan Deiss’ full presentation on 3 Unpopular Marketing Trends is only available on Drift Insider. Watch it here.
Here’s a condensed version of his talk and advice, with some of my takeaways:
Unpopular Trend #1: Blogging is dead.
We need to call it what it is – SEO. In a nutshell, Deiss told the audience that exactly no one is “reading” your blog anymore – and that you should write for an audience of one: Google. He added that “your audience is actually a different group of people each day, and that your readers are likely not part of a growing audience, but rather a continuous stream of people with a problem to solve. When people need an answer, they search Google and find you.”
Deiss Advice: To produce high-quality content that answers questions and then optimize the crap out of it.
It’s true. I doubt anyone is anxiously waiting by their computers for our weekly blog posts. But, people are searching for answers on Google. One-word keywords are too competitive, so shoot for conversational long-tail keywords and questions that your buyers want answers to. “How do I get more website traffic?” “What types of content get the most engagement?”
Look at what you’re already ranking for, and maximize on it. Decide what you want to be ranking for (but aren’t) and start adding those terms to your content. Pepper strategic keywords in your copy, but make sure it sounds natural and has plenty of context. Longform, quality content still reigns supreme.
Another way you can rank for more “answers” is with an FAQ page on your website. Create a blog post for each FAQ and link to them. This leads people who are asking the same questions on your website to find the answers and provides internal linking. Google will love you. Then, add those questions and answers to your Google My Business page. It’s yet another free publicity tactic to promote your brand, along with your fabulous reviews. No budget required.
Unpopular Trend #2: No one is actually “following” you on social media.
People don’t want to see you go “live,” and they probably don’t care about your stories, either. “Organic search isn’t dead,” Deiss said, “but on life support.” Citing research from the Global Web Index, he told the audience that the three top reasons people use social media are to stay in touch with what friends are doing, to stay up-to-date with news and events, and to fill spare time. “The real goal of social media is to waste time. Think of social media as entertainment, like a reality TV show.”
A few tips on how to be entertaining? Show unrestrained, toddler-like emotions; be a villain, or pick fights and create villains. Bonus points for doing really, really dumb things in public, like making out with strangers, biting a Tide Pod, eating bugs, etc.
Deiss Advice: If you want to be seen in social, you need to be willing to pay. Forget about “stories.” Produce “shows” to engage the audience you have, and buy advertising to engage the audience you don’t have yet.
While advertising plays a role in who sees you on social media, so does engagement. Entertain without being the class clown. Give your audience a reason to laugh, cry or really think. People like to support brands and people they like, know and trust. Be authentic to yourself and your brand, and take a risk being a little personal. Smarp says that people will share content they find valuable, so believe in what you post.
If you think social ads aren’t in your budget, think again. Ads on Facebook and Instagram are relatively inexpensive. Select a targeted audience, set a small budget, and go for it. Not sure what to post? Find a post that’s already getting some love. Let it ride out the organic engagement wave, then boost it to a highly targeted audience for best results. Try, test, tweak. There’s everything to gain.
Unpopular Trend #3: The “next big thing” in marketing is email newsletters.
The next big thing in marketing isn’t voice, AI, or virtual/augmented reality. It’s email. Looking at the apps we use every day, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, we always check our email. It’s not dead. There’s less distraction and more engagement than social. (Plus, it’s more intimate.) It’s push, not pull – meaning there’s no login or app required. And it works. Everyone knows how to use it.
Deiss Advice: Double down on email.
According to recent Drift research, 33% of people used email more frequently last year, so Deiss is on to something here. People are so worried about embracing new technology and not missing out that they forget about what is already working.
Email marketing connects products and services to interested buyers, providing both branding and revenue-generating opportunities. Marketers ask for permission to email someone who’s interested in a topic, and there’s a responsibility to provide content the reader is interested in and signed up for. This is a connection that’s to be nurtured and valued. Readers can look at your content, when they want, where they want. And if they’re not interested, they can opt-out.
Look at email automation as remarketing at it’s finest – personalized and delivered directly to your customers. Take advantage of people skimming their inboxes and create customized emails that are tailored to your audience’s interests and past activities to get their attention.
Deiss left the audience feeling a bit disrupted, which is always a good sign for growth 📈
But like any good marketer, he also provided a list of action items to help the audience take advantage of these trends.
Action Items for Marketers
- Answer five questions a week on your blog and optimize for Google.
- Produce high-quality content and pay for awareness. Save your “shows” for your best people.
- Create an email strategy ASAP and launch an email newsletter that your audience will actually read.
You can watch Ryan Deiss’ full presentation here.
Robin Samora is a marketing/PR expert and speaker from Boston, MA. She teaches small business owners how to rev up their brand online and offline to attract new clients, connect with customers, get media exposure, and increase sales. Using a variety of marketing strategies, she helps professionals and entrepreneurs get noticed, gain credibility, and bring in the business they deserve. Her blog, Robin’s Rainmakers, was just featured by Feedspot as one of the Top 40 Small Business Marketing Blogs this year.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post. Interested in contributing content to the Drift blog? Email Molly Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org.