Happy New Year one and all!
And welcome to the first blog of 2022.
To start the year off with a bang I wanted to share my predictions for the next 12 months with regards to marketing, events & webinars.
Now, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I really do think we can accurately predict some of the things that are going to happen this year judging by how 2021 went.
Big changes rarely happen overnight – they’re a cumulation of lots of small changes over time.
In total I have 4 predictions for 2022. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but each has the potential to change the face of marketing events & webinars forever. They’re just that huge!
Prediction 1: More IOS updates hitting email in particular
2021 already saw huge impacts from controversial IOS updates but more have already been announced for 2022. OK, I know that’s cheating but what I’m predicting is the outcomes of the updates.
And in particular, the impacts it will have on email marketing and email deliverability. Emails have been a staple of B2C marketing since the dawn of the internet, but it’s slowly been slipping over recent years.
Open rates have dropped, with businesses reporting an average open rate of 20% or less! That’s less than 1/5 people who have subscribed to your emails, actually opening them.
And with the upcoming IOS updates, designed to protect consumers (rightfully so), open rates will drop even further. The value of an email list is only set to lower, as marketing practices involving mass emails are just going to fall flat.
What does this mean for businesses? They need to start relying on other sources/pillars of marketing. Other methods to communicate and to grab their audiences valuable attention.
The biggest by far is text messaging. Text messages have a close to 99% open rate which makes them an amazing alternative to emails. Sure, they’re not perfect. They’re more intrusive and annoying, meaning you can’t (and shouldn’t) send lots of texts out like you might with emails. 1-2 a week unless somebody’s signed up for something specific.
Another alternative is of course paid social ads which already do amazing – and are the number one tool we use to fill our clients events & webinars. Combined with the outstanding targeting options you have with these, and the potential of effective re-targeting strategies, and you’ve got a fantastic way of capturing cold & warm leads.
Now that all said, I don’t think it’s over for email – and I don’t think it ever will be. Email will always have a place. But compared to a decade ago where emails was the number one form of marketing, it’s now like number ten. It still has it’s uses, but you cannot rely on it any more.
Prediction 2: Virtual events & webinars will reign supreme
Events & webinars have been a fantastic way of marketing your business, engaging with your audience and converting them into paying clients/customers. And that’s why we at The Marketeer focus on filling our clients events & webinars.
But since Covid, virtual events have become more and more popular and during lockdown was the only option for businesses. My prediction is this will not change over 2022. No matter what happens with Covid this year (hopefully we see the end of it!), I think virtual events will be a business staple permanently now.
Why? As covid and lockdown has proven, virtual events can be just as good (if not better) than physical events. From the hosts perspective, it’s easier and cheaper to host and run online events. And what has been most surprising over the last 24 months is just how effective virtual events are in terms of engaging with the audience. So they’re cheaper, and creates just as much (if not more) engagement, making them even more profitable for businesses.
Combine that with all of the benefits for the audience; Not having to travel, pay for accommodation, etc. to attend. They can literally attend in the comfort of their own home and in their PJ’s should they wish.
So virtual events are win-win. So even when Covid is a distant memory, virtual events are always going to be more popular than physical events in most cases. At least, that’s what I predict!
Prediction 3: Challenges will become more and more popular
Challenges have been around a few years now, as a great amalgamation of events & webinars. Creating engagement over usually a week long period of short learning bursts, followed by homework and actions.
But in the last quarter of 2021 I’ve seen an increase in these, with many businesses (and some of our clients) choosing to run these as an alternative to a standard event or webinar format.
And they work. They create engagement, they provide valuable (and more importantly – actionable) content. Meaning attendees come away with big differences and a love for the hosts – with many of them signing up for paid services after (and in some cases – BEFORE) the challenge ends!
Word is spreading, and fast. Events & webinars will always have a place, but challenges are becoming a great way of providing a slightly different and engaging format. And as technology and humanity advances further, I’m sure other hybrids and event/webinar amalgamations will pop up.
Prediction 4: FB lead forms will become best-practice
If you’re read any of my blogs before, I usually mention Facebook Ads somewhere. That’s because it’s our no1 way of filling our clients events & webinars. Sure there’s many other methods, but Facebook Ads has been the most consistent way of generating high quality, high quantity and cost effective event/webinar registrants.
And in late 2020 (seems like a life time ago now, right?) Facebook launched a new way of running ads called Lead Forms. In short, they allow advertisers to host mini landing pages on Facebook and capture data without the audience having to leave Facebook and go to an externally hosted landing page.
This makes it easier for the audience to sign up to anything, thus increasing conversion rates. Sounds good, right? And It was. BUT a big hesitation for many in the industry (including myself) was that FB lead forms would lead to a lower quality of lead. That’s why I and many others never really bothered with them, or did so but very cautiously.
But I’m pleased to say we were wrong! FB lead forms do lead to an increase in conversion rate, whilst also maintaining quality. So it’s a win-win! And I think more and more businesses will start realising this too and using them more and more.
I don’t think they’ll become dominant. Certain campaigns and funnels require an external landing page, but for things like lead generation, challenge registrations etc. they can be quite effective.
If you haven’t already, give them a try and see for yourself!
So those are my predictions for 2022. But who know’s what will happen!
What I will say is, whatever does happen over the next 12-months, I hope you will have a prosperous, healthy and successful year.
Our New Years Gift To You!
As a thank you for reading and as a little New Years gift, I want to offer you a free copy off our guide: 25 Of The Best Ways To Promote Your Event or Webinar.
Helping our clients fill their events and webinars, or supporting them to do so themselves, via Facebook Ads is something we do 365 days a year.
How do we do this?
Through our done-for-you and mentorship services that you can learn more about here.
Whilst you’re here, I’d like to invite you to learn how the UK’s market leading portfolio builder and property educator was able to continually fill their webinars and virtual events during and after lockdown.
Finally, I have an ever increasing catalogue of free resources to help you fill your events and webinars.
Sell more. Inspire more. Change more lives.