The Best Approaches To Digital Marketing In 2021 With Expert Denis Lagutenko

In the classic movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner plays a struggling Iowa farmer who one day has a vision of transforming his cornfields into a baseball field. The vision is accompanied by a voice that tells the farmer, “If you build it, they will come.” To the dismay of his neighbors and wife, Costner’s character listens to the voice and starts turning his farmland into a baseball field. 

The farmer has his doubts, of course, about building a baseball field in the middle of nowhere Iowa in order to save himself and his family financially. But the voice is persistent and convinces him that, regardless of how absurd it sounds, if he builds the field, and builds it right, he will get people from all over the world to come and watch baseball there. And these people will pay. 

The farmer does what the voice asks of him, and not only do people come, but baseball players of America’s past start showing up out of the corn stalks. The field is a great success and the trajectory of the farmer’s life radically changes.

The “if you build it” fallacy

Well, that’s all well and good in Hollywood, but in the real world it doesn’t quite work that way. At least not anymore. There is still a belief among a lot of entrepreneurs and aspiring businessmen and women that if they build it—meaning if they create a great product or a great idea that people need or want—their clients will come in droves, just like in the film. 

On a small, local scale this thinking is not that problematic. Think about living in a small town; the space and resource limitations tend to make it so that every brick and mortar business has a chance at success. And if they offer a good product, they are likely to get clients thanks to the quality of their product and their particular circumstances. But, if you’re reading this, chances are you are facing quite a different situation. 

With the ongoing digital revolution that is upending every aspect of the way we do and think about business, the “let the product speak for itself” mindset is outdated. Everything is online now, meaning that there is competition for everything. Even with the best product in the world, unless you can get it to stand out in the field, quite simply, they will not come. 

Unfortunately, one of the more prominent features of the new business era that we are living in, is that everything is changing all the time. Methods of getting your product and brand to stand out that worked even a year ago will have to change or be tailored to the current environment or they will likely become obsolete.

The five digital marketing essentials

In order to get a lay of the land in terms of how all this works in 2021, and highlight the best current means of getting your brand out there and bringing in traffic and clients, we talked with successful entrepreneur, founder of AdsProfit and occasional Benzinga contributor Denis Lagutenko. The basis of the conversation was to try and provide our readers, startups and any business looking to grow in the digital space with useful and relevant approaches to making that happen. With Denis’s help we’ve come up with 5 absolutely necessary digital spheres for those looking to invest in order to grow. 

Video and streaming

This was right off the bat. There is nothing currently bigger in the marketing space than video and streaming content. Why is this the case? Because, psychologically, people are changing. Generally speaking, when given a choice, people tend to choose that which offers them the least resistance, that which is enjoyable. Watching content is simply more enjoyable and easier than reading it. But that doesn’t mean that you should be aiming to make glossy, television-style adverts for your products, according to Denis. As Marshall McLuhen said, “the medium is the message,” and our medium is the internet. 

As a medium, the internet is totally different from television and all previous advertising environments. Whether they consciously know it or not, people are looking for a different type of content than what they experienced previously. That’s why investing in video and streaming is so key right now. You have to be on the cutting edge of everything that is happening. Whether you are trying to make content in house or hire a firm to do it for you, you are going to want content that is with the times, not a relic of times past. So you have to do your research. Find out what is working now and specifically for your target audience and run with it. 

The internet of things

Depending on your perspective, we are either living in a heaven or a hell in which everything is connected. From dating apps to thermostats, all of the products people use are in constant communication with each other. Philosophical and moral considerations aside, what this amounts to for businesses is opportunity. 

Simply put, there is more data available on consumers than advertisers can work with. Everything is being logged, and most of that information is available to you if you are willing to invest some time and money. In terms of reaching your target audience, this may be the most essential potential field of investment. If you are willing to invest here you just might end up knowing what your customers want better than they know themselves, and that is invaluable. 

Email and automation

This one may come as a bit of a surprise, as it has become somewhat commonplace in the industry to think that email is dead. However, according to Denis, email is still a goldmine if you know how to use it. 

The stats suggest the same. There are over 2 billion people in the world that use email. If you are working, chances are that you are checking your email throughout the day. Now we all know how annoying marketing emails can be. However, that shouldn’t be extrapolated into the conclusion that email marketing is ineffective. Just like all the other strategies on this list, email marketing is an art form. 

What’s more, according to the Direct Marketing Association, the return on investment in email marketing is unparalleled, sitting at a whopping 43,000%. The value is there, you just have to know how to find it. 

Account based marketing

This is one of the newer spheres to have flourished in digital marketing. The idea behind ABM is simple: rather than going for scorched earth, reach everyone you can marketing and leads strategy, you should tailor your content and approach as closely as you can to your customer. We now have a plethora of consumer and client information at our fingertips, the key is using that data to transform our marketing.

Clients and consumers do not want to do the legwork to figure out how your platform or product is something they need. The more direct and personalized you can make your site and your content, the more results you are going to see. 

Content marketing

Like video and streaming, this is kind of an obvious one. But, given its importance, we would be remiss if we didn’t highlight it. Everyone that is involved in online marketing today is producing content, but that just makes it harder for businesses to stand out. In order to get your content to stand out and your business to be seen, you have to be able to produce high-quality content that speaks to your intended audience with consistency. 

According to Denis, the key to content marketing in today’s environment is offering more than just a destination product or platform. Marketers have to start thinking more in terms of time, specifically the long term. You are going to want your clients to go on a journey with you, not just transact a single time. Quality content that breathes life into the way your brand is perceived can open up those long-term journey pathways. 

 As with all things today, what is working now will probably become outdated in the near future, so with each of these five spheres, you should have a flexible approach with which you can adapt to the rapidly changing circumstances. Nonetheless, these five spheres are essential, and if you are looking to step your marketing game up and really grow your company, this is where you should be investing your time and money. 

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