What You Need To Know With Marketing Trends For 2021

What You Need To Know With Marketing Trends For 2021

Information overload is alive and well with marketing and we understand how overwhelming it can be. That’s why we’ve got Michael Norris from Youtech with us to discuss the trends we’re seeing and what’s working with marketing in 2021.

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What You Need To Know With Marketing Trends For 2021



Tim Fitzpatrick
Information overload is alive and well with marketing, and I understand how overwhelming it can be at times. That's why I have a special guest with me today. We are going to dig into the trends that we are seeing with marketing and what's working in 2021. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing where we believe marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the right plan. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am really excited to have with me Michael Norris from Youtech. Got another marketer with me today. Michael, thanks so much for taking the time to join me.

Michael Norris
Of course. What's up, Tim? I like that we both got the black shirts on.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I know, man. It's like we both got the memo.

Michael Norris
We did.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I don't wear black too often because I'm a pale white Irish kid, but it kind of makes me look like I'm from Twilight, but that's all good.

Michael Norris
I think you look great.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Thank you. Likewise. So before we jump in and start talking marketing, I want to ask you some rapid fire questions. Help us get to know you a little bit. You ready to jump in with both feet here?

Michael Norris
let's do it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool, man. So when you're not working, how do you like to spend your time?

Michael Norris
Well, I have a wife. I have a dog. I'm getting another dog tomorrow, so I'm going to be spending a lot of time doing that. But I also like to read. I read a ton, probably too much. And I also like the golf, but I am extremely terrible at it. Tbd on the golf.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes. Okay. Well, golf is a challenging sport.

Michael Norris
To say the least.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I enjoy it at times, but not always. What's your hidden talent?

Michael Norris
Hidden Talent. I would say ping pong. I am pretty good at ping pong. I play sort of unconventionally. I hold the paddle weird, but around here in our agency, I'm one of the top fellas.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. Nice. I love it. What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Michael Norris
Just to work hard. Everyone has opportunities in life, some people more than others. And myself, I've been blessed with a ton of opportunities more than most, I would say. But you have to take advantage of those, and sometimes you have to create opportunities out of nothing. And no matter what, I think, you just have to apply yourself, spend the time and work hard. Do the things you don't want to do so that you can do the things you do want to do down the road.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I totally agree. When we see people and think that they're an overnight success, what we don't see is all the stuff below the surface. They were a ten or 15-year overnight success. There are no shortcuts in life. What's one thing about you that surprises people?

Michael Norris
I'm such a nerd. I love video games when I was a kid. I grew up, I was an only child, and I used to just play video games for hours and hours and hours in my room, chess, all that kind of stuff. I'm a total nerd.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Hey, nothing wrong with that, man. What does success mean to you?

Michael Norris
Success to me is it's not money. It's just doing what you love every single day. I think the journey is 99% of life, and that 1% is actually getting to or achieving your goal. So every plataeu, you hit it, and then you just set more goals for yourself and you take the ride up again. And to me, it's the ride. It's not the destination.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Where's your happy place?

Michael Norris
At home in front of a TV watching the Chicago Bears.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay.

Michael Norris
Love sports.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Well, I guess we'll see how they're going to do this year, right?

Michael Norris
Yeah. We'll see. We're not to get my hopes up.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What qualities do you value in the people with whom you spend time?

Michael Norris
Honesty is a big one for me. And I think the willingness to accept when you're wrong and a willingness to share your opinion when you think you're right. You know, I think we constantly need to examine ourselves and our beliefs. And you can't do that if you're just surrounded by yes man. So to me, I like it when people challenge me and tell me the truth.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it. So tell me a little bit more about what you guys are doing at Youtech.

Michael Norris
So we've been in business now about eight years. We've been named to the INC 5000 Fast Growing Companies list the last five years in a row, which I want to say only about 10% of companies that make the list and then making it five years in a row. So we're really proud of that. But we're a digital marketing agency. We originally started as a web design company and our founder's parents' basement when he was 22 years old. I was not a part of the team at that time. I was tenth employee. So I've been here about seven years, and during that time, we've packed on all different kinds of additional marketing services. We pretty much do everything under the sun when it comes to digital. SEO is something we're really good at. Google Ads, social media, email marketing, content, all that kind of stuff. We're pretty much do it all.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And what types of clients do you typically work with?

Michael Norris
We're probably split about 50% B2 B and B2C. So we're kind of all over the place. We don't specialize in any one particular industry or niche. And that's kind of on purpose because we don't want to have clients that compete in the same space in the same area targeting the same people. So we always try to go exclusive when we can with some of our bigger retainers. And we've won over a lot of business because there are people who let's say you're a restaurant group and you work with some marketing agency in the area and all the other restaurant groups that we're going the same marketing agency, who do they put on top? We're all doing the same thing. So we come at it a little bit differently and it's been working well for us.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. There's definitely there can be some conflicts of interest there. I think there are also having diversity in industries is not a bad thing. If you were 100% focused on hospitality and restaurants a year ago, we might not be having this conversation, right?

Michael Norris
Very true. Yeah. I think there's pros and cons to it, for sure.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes.

Michael Norris
It's difficult to appeal to everyone in every industry.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes.

Michael Norris
So we have that kind of hand select and cherry-pick our spots and what we're going to do there. But at the same time being that diversified, having clients with all sizes, mom and pop shops to publicly traded companies, B2B, B2C everywhere in every industry. I mean, it's very nice. And it did make us sort of endemic proof.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Which so you guys are working with some marketing agencies. They've got threshold. You got to be a certain size. You got to have a certain budget. It sounds like you guys work with a lot of different sized companies. Is that right?

Michael Norris
We do. Yeah. I would say small businesses are our sweet spot. So that's usually where we fit in pretty well. But we've got some companies where we're their entire marketing department, and we report directly to their chief marketing officer, their CEO, and we do everything under the sun for them. And then we've got other companies that plumbing company down the street, and they just want a SEO, and they're looking for someone who does SEO, and that's the role we feel for them. So it's really custom tailored I think as much as it can be with an agency, it gets tough sometimes to grow and to really flesh things out in terms of processes and how you're going to do stuff because there really is no one size fits all solution for any brand.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No.

Michael Norris
But we always go back to the fundamentals, which is something you and I touched on a little bit before we started recording here. If you know the fundamentals, everything else just kind of falls in place.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Absolutely. So let's talk about growth a little bit. Since the pandemic started, you guys have done quite well at Youtech. What do you attribute that to? And how are you guys marketing your own business at this point?

Michael Norris
Yeah. Well, we've seen 80% year over year revenue growth on top line since last year, which has been phenomenal. And right when COVID hit, it was a shock to everyone. I mean, unprecedented times right. We were all there. We're all scared. We had no idea what to do. But luckily, our clients stuck around. And I think a lot of that is just because we're really good at demonstrating the value that we bring. And for that reason, a majority of our marketing truthfully, it's referrals, it's referral based. And it's because we do a good job, we create really strong ties and relationships of the people that we work with. And I can tell you just in my role as CMO, I do some marketing for Youtech, which I can get into in a second here. But mainly I'm working for our clients for a majority of my time. And what I'm spending is I work on at any given time, maybe five to ten of our biggest clients, and I'm helping them, and I'm meetings with them, and I'm coaching them and developing relationships with them. And so we rely on those relationships a lot to just get our brand name out there and show people what it is we do. And our brand, we did re-brand a little bit in the past year, and we changed some things around. And our new goal is to help businesses meet their potential. And that's what we're actually in the midst of kind of rolling that out right now, that new branding and a lot of things are going to come with that. But we really believe in owned channels. So our email list is very, very big to us. And we have a podcast of our own that we use as sort of a transitional call to action on our website. People visit us are not really ready to buy yet, since at any given time, really only 1% of your target audience is ready to buy that other 99% we don't want them to go away. So we try to attract them with our podcast, add them to our email list, and then we kind of keep things going there. So we're always top of mind with free touch points that we don't pay for so that when they are ready to buy, they come to us.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to pull out a couple of things that you said here because it's super important. One of them is what you touched on with a small percentage of your audience or your market is ready to buy at any given point in time. So if you don't stay in front of people, you don't have much of a chance. Super Super important. The other thing you touched on was you mentioned owned channels. I've talked about this before, but I want to make sure we're on the same page because a lot of people there's this concept in marketing where you talk about channels that you rent versus channels that you own. Can you touch on that just a little bit? What this concept of owned versus renting is?

Michael Norris
I can absolutely. So a rented channel would be Facebook, for example, on Facebook, you're susceptible to any type of algorithm change. So for instance, and this is something that happened to some of our clients back in 2012 or so. It was great to have a big Facebook following. You could post stuff, people would see it, people would share it. And you have businesses popping up in your news feed all the time. We'll look at Facebook now, you try to go ahead and post something. It doesn't matter if you have 50,000 followers, very small percentage of people are going to see that. Now on the other hand, an owned channel would be your email list or your website. Something of that nature. And email is an amazing form of communication still, even though I think it's older than me, I'm 30 years old. But email is still great because you own your email is you own that at any given time can send emails to those people who communicate with them directly, and you're not susceptible to any type of algorithm change or platform change or anything like that. So you can do all this work on rented channels, and you should still. I'm not saying that Facebook is bad or Google is bad or anything like that, but if you're performing SEO or you're performing Google PPC ad, search ads, just know that at any given time, that all can change with some of the regulatory stuff that's happening now with the Department of Justice and the monopolies and big pack and all that. You just don't know how any of that stuff is going to be affected. So it's important to own what you can so that you can talk to your audience directly.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well would you also say that? I agree with you. There's nothing wrong with rented channels, but I think we want to use rented channels to get people on to the channels that we own.

Michael Norris
I would agree 100%. And there are a couple of reasons for that. But one is because initially, when you're getting in front of people, sometimes you have to pay for their attention. If you're running an ad, you're paying for people's attention. That's what you're doing. That's what an ad is. You're getting in front of people using money. Once you do that, you want to bring them along somehow, right? You don't want to be paying for their attention again and again down the road, because like we touched on earlier, they're not all ready to buy. So what can you do to keep bringing them along and make it so you don't have to pay for them? Email list is great, and I'm a huge proponent of the email is I'll probably say 15 more times on this interview, but I love email. I think it's a great channel. I think it's extremely undervalued still. I don't think people do enough of it. And just in terms of value with email and that's the other thing. I think there needs to be value associated with your brand and what you're giving to people. Otherwise, they're never going to just give you their email list.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Right.

Michael Norris
You need to demonstrate value to your users in some ways. Hubspot did this, I think really well. Traditionally is they set up all kinds of blogs, and they created the inbound marketing methodology, and they did it tremendously well. If you're looking for a blueprint Hubspot really knew their core user base, and they created all kinds of content and stuff to help those people, and it's totally free. They made certifications, all that kind of stuff. I really like what they did, and I think a lot of brands could learn a lot from that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I totally agree. So let's talk about mistakes. We all make them with marketing. It seems like there's all kinds of mistakes people are making. What are the top three mistakes that you guys are seeing businesses making when it comes to marketing?

Michael Norris
Well, one thing for sure right now that I'm seeing a lot of is businesses not understanding the marketing funnel, and it's an age-old conversation. I don't know if that's anything new, but as marketers, you and I know that the funnel is very important. And to break it down in simplistic terms, you've got awareness, you've got consideration, and you've got conversion or purchase. And that's the simplistic funnel. I know there are variations of that, but someone who's at the awareness stage, who might not know who you are, they might not even be aware that they really have a problem or you're trying to do is put something in front of them to let them know, "Hey, we exist, and we solve a particular problem that you might be having." And that's just entirely not in a lot of marketing strategies for clients that come to us and approach us. They're just all conversion, conversion, conversion, bottom line sales, sales, sales. And especially in the B2B space, you don't just get a ton of sales overnight like that. People need to think about the decision. There's usually multiple decision-makers, budgets of consideration. They're weighing other options. They might know someone who has a connection somewhere else. So you need to build up trust. And in doing that again, it just comes back to everything I'm saying. You can do that with email funnels, content and all that kind of stuff. So that's the number one thing I would say.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So let's dig into this one just a little bit more. So when we talk about the funnel, we're also really talking about the buyers journey,right? The journey that your prospects or clients have from the time they think about working with the company like yours all the way through buying, doing, repeat and referral business, right? And so if I understand what you're saying correctly, you're saying one of the big mistakes people are making is they're really only focusing on one or two steps in that journey, and they're neglecting the other steps. When you do that, you have huge gaps and you can't move people effectively through the funnel.

Michael Norris
Yeah. I would agree wholeheartedly. It's essentially treating people as numbers instead of treating them like people. And it goes back to, I mean, look like marketing in the 2000 years ago was the shopkeeper standing on the side of the road selling apples, and he would try to make a relationship with you. It's the long game that people are missing out on. Their playing that short-term game where they're trying to just shove things down your throat. And that can work. It can. It can work. But generally speaking, if you're trying to scale anything, that's not really a super scalable strategy.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So what other mistakes are you seeing people making?

Michael Norris
Another one right now is Attribution. I think it's just a big problem for a lot of businesses, especially with Facebook and iOS 14.5 and the updates that have come out there. I don't think a lot of businesses know what they're getting out of social media. You can look at Google Analytics. You can look at Facebook Ads manager. You can see their Facebook business manager either one. Whatever you're looking at. Things are not lining up. And part of it is because Facebook and the Facebook Pixel is being blocked by Apple devices. A majority, I think 90% of people are opting out right now. And so you're looking at now we've got all these Facebook Ads accounts. People are coming in. They're asking me to audit. I'm looking at it. They're like, why are our CPA is increasing so much? What's going on here? And part of the reason is because Facebook is now estimating the results that you're getting from iOS devices. 90% of them.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So when we talk about Attribution, we're really talking about they're not getting the data they need to determine whether the actions they're taking are actually working.

Michael Norris
To be honest with you, I mean, Attribution is great. And in marketing, the number one thing. I mean, there are plenty of number one things, probably, but it's probably time for number one. You need to know what's working.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes.

Michael Norris
Pretty important. You can't just do stuff and be like, "We did it. It's great. It's working." You don't know unless you measure it. But I think that there's such an emphasis now on tracking every single little thing. And I think certain things just can't be tracked. And you need to know that they have value, regardless of the fact that maybe they're not generating leads directly like this show right now, get a little meta on people. I don't think I doubt you're running the show today. And you're like, "I'm going to get five leads from this."

Tim Fitzpatrick
Exactly.

Michael Norris
Yeah. Go ahead.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, I was just going to say you're totally right. And I think there's a lot of challenges with marketing, but one of them is there's so many different numbers that you can track. I think sometimes people are tracking numbers that don't matter. I think sometimes they're tracking too many numbers, and it's making things too complex. And anytime we make things too complex, that's the enemy of results, we need to make things as simple as we possibly can. And I think one of the things that I talk about a lot, especially with small businesses, you start to get into larger businesses where they've got more people, and they're starting to get more sophisticated. To me, for most small businesses, if you don't know how many leads you're generating, where they're coming from, and how many of those convert to customers, that's the first place you need to start. Those are the only three damn metrics that matter. I mean, at that point, you're going to be able to determine, you know, how many leads are you actually bringing in? You know where they're coming from. So you're going to know at a holistic level what tactics are working. And then if you track conversions, you're going to know how many prospects you need to talk to to get a customer. There's so many businesses that you ask that, and they have no idea.

Michael Norris
Well, the pipeline so important. And one thing that you just touched on is not all channels, not all leads from all channels are equal. You might get 100 leads from social media, and you might get ten from SEO, and you converted a 50% cliff on the SEO ones. But you're not really getting anything out of the social media ones. they're not as qualified. That's something that needs to be looked at too. Not just the static numbers.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Absolutely. What else? From a mistake standpoint, we talked about not understanding the funnel or the associated buyers journey. Attribution. We're not getting the data that we need to determine whether things are working or not. What else are you seeing?

Michael Norris
I think that, excuse me, brands are not focused enough on providing free value to people. And I think that that's extremely important. Like going back to what I said 2000 years ago, dude selling apples on the side of the street. He's selling probably the same apples as someone else who's a couple of streets down. What's going to set him apart from that other person? As a marketing agency, I mean, we run into this, too. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of marketing agencies in the world. Why would you pick us over someone else? Is it because we're the best at whatever the tool is that we're putting in front of you? I mean, I doubt it. The algorithms and stuff change all the time for us to be the best and stay on top when there's so much competition. Like, I don't think that we can all go in and say we're the best of using this tool, but just let's be real. We're not. So how do you build a relationship with someone? How do you make someone choose you over them? And oftentimes it's trust. It's trust, or it's that they like you, and then they choose to justify that with whatever else that comes after it. But for the most part, decisions are based on emotion, not logic. Logic helps. And like I said, I read a lot, so I read a lot of the psychology stuff. People make decisions based on emotion, and if they like you, if they trust you, they're more likely to go with you than someone else. To me, give out free value wherever possible, whether it be on a show like this, giving out free knowledge, whether it be in emails, whether it be social media, whether it be face to face communication, audits for people, things of that nature. There's so much you can do and put out there. And with the Internet and mass media, digital stuff today, I mean, you can really broadcast that stuff and get it out in front of people and just multiply it. So I think that's an emphasis that needs to be placed on that, and less of a focus on just transactions and sales and more of an emphasis on how can we build our brand and relationship with our core group of consumers.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think that also comes back to what's one of the things you touched on earlier. Short term versus Long Term Mindset. If you have a longer term thinking mindset, I think you're going to make much better business decisions long term. And you know, marketing is not a switch, and you can't flip it on and off when you want it. You got to see it as an investment and you got to do it consistently over the long term. And when you do that, you will start to reap the benefits of that. But if you're impatient and all you want to do is just generate leads today, I think that kind of short term thinking. You may get some results in the short term, but it's not going to consistently work over time.

Michael Norris
I totally agree, man, and I don't know your thoughts on Gary V, I'm not, like the biggest Gary V fan, but I do think that's one thing that he absolutely nails.

Tim Fitzpatrick
He does.

Michael Norris
Is that he's always thinking long game. A lot of people are not. So just play the long game as much as it sucks. Human beings are not built for that. We want instant gratification, we want likes, comments, shares. We want leads. We want everything. I want it now. And I mean, I get it. I want everything now, too. I do. But you have to just think strategically, think long term, and it's going to give you a lot more.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Totally agree. So off this slightly relevant to talking about mistakes people make. What are some of the common road blocks or marketing problems that your prospects are coming to you with? Are you seeing any recurring themes?

Michael Norris
Yeah. I think generally speaking, people focus way too much on the tactics and not on the strategy behind it. So I'll give you a good example. Cbd. Cbd right now is it's blowing up, right? But it's still federally illegal, and there's a lot of roadblocks to get through when it comes to CBD. Now, that's not to say that CBD is a bad industry to get into or anything like that. I'm not saying that, but I do think you need something that sets you apart and just having CBD and putting that out there and saying, "I have CBD." And then you're not getting any leads from various channels, and you're like, "Oh ell, it's social media ads. Social media ads are not working for us. Why can our social media ads team not do a better job?" Or "Google is not working for us. What's going on? Google team. We do Google team." You're blaming the tactics, but really, I think at the core, you're not setting yourself apart enough. Why would anyone buy your CBD versus someone else's CBD? And it comes on the products. I think in this specific case, in this example, you could do things that set you apart. You could blend your CBD with lavender and melatonin to make a nighttime mix. Then you've got a little bit of something, and you might be able to focus on those other ingredients rather than CBD. So you're not making claims and getting into any kind of territory with legal that you don't want to. To me, the strategy is to come up there with this product marketing. You need better products, and you need to find better ways to market those products. It's not the channel. It's not the people pulling the levers for your social media ads that aren't doing a good job. It's the fact that you don't have something that people want and you're not solving a problem for your target audience.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. So it's not that they have the wrong tactic. It's more often that it's the right tactic. They're just the sequence is out. It is at the wrong time. They have put the cart before the horse because they don't have, when we talk about strategy, they're skipping some of the fundamentals. They haven't built that foundation that they can build the rest of their house from. They're just skipping the foundation and starting to put up walls going, "Dude, why is this house not standing up?"

Michael Norris
That and then my other thing, I don't know if you want the second thing. But I'm.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, please.

Michael Norris
Yeah. The second thing I would say is in terms of expectations, I think the great thing about marketing is that you can project a lot of things. And I think if you know your average order value, you know how often your leads convert into clients. You know what your revenue goals are? You can kind of just work backwards from that. And you can determine how many leads you need and what your average order value is. Sale value is whatever. And then you can determine, like, you could just see the whole thing through. You can say, "Okay, this channel, we're getting clicks for this much. Our conversion rate is X, and then we get X amount of leads. We turn X amount of those leads into sales." You can just reverse engineer the entire thing, and there you have it there. You know exactly what to expect. And everything is aligned. And I think what a lot of people do is they jump in and they say, "I can spend $5,000 on this per month, and I need to see four times ROIS." Which isn't, that might be reasonable, but without digging in a little bit more and doing the math, you're kind of just tossing stuff in the air and saying, "I need this." And maybe it wasn't a line. Maybe that's not possible with a 3% conversion rate. And you can try to beat that conversion rate up a little bit and do different things. But at some point you're going to hit a wall with that kind of stuff. You can't double your over year revenue year after year. You need to take a step back and look at expectations and see where you can tighten things up. And then you can project it out like, "Okay, well, then we'll have a 20% increase in sales this year. If we can raise our conversion rate by 1% overall, that would be great." So you can play games like that and really back into things. And I think people just dive right in without considering all aspects of it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Without having much of a plan. If you don't have a plan, it's going to be hard to be effective long term. Thank you for sharing that. So let's talk about tactics. I do want to preface this by saying, please take to heart what we've been talking about with the marketing strategy and the fundamentals. Man, if you do not really have a handle on that, it's the first place you have to start. You need to start. And then from there, you can jump into some of these tactics. But what do you guys see in with marketing tactics that are working in 2021?

Michael Norris
One big thing, and this is sort of a hack. I hate the term hack, but right now I really feel like it is. Polls on LinkedIn are just astronomically better than any type of content you can put out on LinkedIn right now. If you run a poll, your reach is going to be, like, ten times higher than a normal post. You're going to get so much more engagement from people. You're going to be shown in all kinds of different people's feeds. Polls are phenomenal, especially if it's a person that's posting it. That's another thing we're kind of seeing. And this might be more strategy and tactics. So I don't mean to get back to that. But people want to follow people in today's day and age. They do. They don't want to follow big corporations or brands or Joe Plumber down the street. They want to follow the person behind it, who's the thought leader who's passionate about it, who brings a lot to the table. So to me, if you're doing the stuff on LinkedIn, polls are great, you can do it from your company page. But I would promote the person over the company.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Are polls, when people are using polls, is the fact that they're using a poll, maybe increasing their engagement and their reach with that one post. Is doing that consistently over time, helping the rest of their other posts get seen?

Michael Norris
Yes. Now it depends, because I think I'm not going to pretend like I totally understand the entire LinkedIn algorithm. I would say on average, when people come back to you, when they see your post, when they answer their likelier to see your next post, then they would be if they had not done that. So the fact that they're engaging with you, you might get more follows out of it and everything, too. Of course, more follows, more people who are waiting around for your content and everything. So, yeah, it's a rented channel. But I definitely think if your posting polls pretty consistently, there are two things. Social media is meant to be a conversation. It's meant to be social. It's not meant to be, you know, you go to Thanksgiving dinner and your one uncle just talks in your ear the whole time about politics. Nobody wants to hear that. What they want to do is have a conversation with someone else. "Hey, how are you? How are the kids? How's your new dog? What's going on?" And polls really kind of give you a good opportunity to do that with your audience, and it allows you to see what resonates with them. Like, what's the best marketing channel for you in 2021? Now, you know.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Do you think the question for those polls, does it need to be relevant to what you're doing, or do you care? Do you have any thoughts on that?

Michael Norris
I think it depends on your goals. I think it definitely can be relevant to what you're doing. And I think on LinkedIn, that's a platform where it's not a bad idea to make it relevant. But at the same time, going back to what we're saying, I think right now in what we're seeing with COVID and everything that's happened and social justice movements and everything that have been going on, people want people and they're sick of the automation and they're sick of the whole, you know, everything like dressing up to go to work. They're sick of commuting. They're sick of everything. They just want people. They want human interaction. They want to know you're a person. I think you could sprinkle some things in there that shows that you're more than your career, you're more than your job, whatever it is you do now. And I think they could help build trust, too.

Tim Fitzpatrick
What else are you seeing besides LinkedIn polls?

Michael Norris
I'm really like I said at the beginning, I'm super bullish on email, and I don't think people email enough. And I have a take on this, which might be a little bit of a hot take. I don't know how people take this, but I personally feel this way. As long as you are providing value to your audience, with every email you send, you can send as many emails as you want. That's how I feel. There's no optimal frequency to sending emails to your audience. If some people send emails once a month, and that works great. And that's about how much value they can provide without diluting it, then email once a month. If you can provide value on a weekly basis. And people are sucking that up and it's actually really valuable to them. It's not an overloadsend, then send emails weekly. If you can send me a daily, like Morning Brew, I mean, I love Morning Brew emails, I don't know if you're familiar, but it's just the news previous days, focus on stock markets, everything. What's going on? I love that I literally read the Morning Brew every single day because it's valuable to me everyday. So to me, email as much as your audience finds valuable. And look at the analytics. You'll know if things start to drop off. Plus, you can always do polls, too.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I think somebody, a mentor of mine always talked about email from the perspective of look, if you think about whatever it is, whatever the number is, the average person is getting 100 something emails a day. If all you're doing is sending once a month, man, there's too much noise there in that inbox. But if you're sending once a day, two, three times a week, your chance of staying in front of those people amidst those 100 emails a day is so much higher. And I do totally agree with you. As long as there is value in those emails, there's nothing wrong with sending on a more frequent basis. Look, I tell people I'm on multiple email lists that send, if not daily, like five, six times a week. I don't read every single one of those, but I stay on those lists and I glance at the emails just to make sure, "Hey, what's in here? Do I need to take the time to read this?" Because even out of those five emails, if I only read one, usually that one that I read has so much value in it. It's like, "Hey, this is totally worth it."

Michael Norris
Yeah, I bet you love those brands, too. Be happy when they pop up in your inbox. You don't want to just toss them to junk or anything because they're so valuable to you. And that's essentially my whole point. With everything I've been saying about trust, and knowledge and all that. If Morning Brew wanted to send me a free T shirt, I'd be all about it. I wear it everywhere because I love Morning Brew and they provide free value to me. I love that. And everyone loves that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Any other tactics you're bullish on? We've talked about polls. We talked about email marketing. Totally agree. Email marketing is super low-hanging fruit for a lot of businesses. Any other ones you want to share with us?

Michael Norris
This probably isn't a sexy pick, but SEO, I mean, people have tried to talk about the death of SEO so many different times, and, you know, they're just trying to hit hot button. They're just trying to get hot button articles out there. SEO is not going anywhere. Voice search, I don't think is going to replace text-based search anytime soon. I think SEO is still one of the greatest things you could do for demand capture. Now, the thing is, though, you need there to be some existing demand for SEO to make an impact. So that's where I come back to the full funnel approach is if you're a plumber, I don't know why I keep using plumbers as an example.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's all good.

Michael Norris
We're already on the plumber thing. So we'll just go with it. If you're a plumber, you're going to call a plumber when you have plumbing issues. There's demand for that that's just built in. Now, if you're selling T-shirts of, you know, something that just happened in pop culture, people might not know that that T-shirt exists like that. And so you need to create you need to go out there and show people that you have that product. And in that case, SEO it's probably not going to capture those people because they're not looking for they don't know exist. It would be an impulse buy.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, there needs to be enough people searching for it. The demand needs to be there for SEO to make sense for your business. But as long as the demand is there, it's certainly a very viable tactic.

Michael Norris
100% I truly recommend SEO to almost every single business we work with. I really think that almost every single business should be doing SEO.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. I love it. Michael, thank you so much for sharing this stuff. We've touched on some really, really key points here today. Any last-minute thoughts, words of wisdom you want to leave us with?

Michael Norris
I think provide value, build trust. All those things I've been saying, I can't harp on those things enough, especially with the changing world that we're living in right now. Trust, transparency, talk to real people. Don't automate everything that you do. Automated stuff where it makes sense, but really, just try to establish human to human connections and talk to your current customers. That will be my thing. We'll go with that. Talk to your current customers. You can pull them and all that. That's great. But having a real conversation, you're going to learn a lot more from why they chose you and what they're looking for in you and ask your best customers these questions. Just call them up on a call with them. They're going to tell you a lot of stuff that maybe you didn't know. So when customers leave, ask them what what were their pain points? What can you improve upon? What didn't they like? Where they sold on something that you didn't deliver on? Was it the way you went about it? Is there a competitor out there is doing something you're not? You need to know these things so that you can really go ahead and move forward and lean into your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it, man. Where can people learn more about you? They want to get more on Youtech. Where's the best place for them to go?

Michael Norris
As you can see on the bottom of the screen, Youtech Agency dot com, That's a pretty good place to go. We also have a podcast, too. It's myself and our CEO founder, Wilbur. He's an absolute genius, too. So if you're looking for any more content, Youtech agency dot com slash you talk. That's what it's called. It's call you talk. Like Youtech. You talk. That's another great place. Also, just follow me on LinkedIn. I post content here and there. I tweet all that kind of stuff, too.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. Michael, thank you so much. Thank you to those of you that are watching, listening tuning in in some way, shape or form. Again, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing. If you guys are running into some roadblocks, you're not sure what that next step is in your marketing. Hop on over to our website, Rialto Marketing dot com. That's R-I-A-L-T-O Marketing dot com. Click on to get a free consult button. Be happy to chat with you and give you some clarity on where you need to focus right now. Thanks so much for tuning in until next time. Take care.


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About the Author Tim Fitzpatrick

Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help service businesses simplify marketing so they can grow with less stress. We do this by creating and implementing a plan to communicate the right message to the right people. Marketing shouldn't be difficult. All you need is the RIGHT plan.

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