As we learned in 2020, what worked before isn’t always going to be what continues to drive results. Modern marketing was flipped on its head when COVID-19 swept the world last year. As the months have gone on, we have learned to pivot where we need to, lean in where we can, and identify what strategies and tactics are still working, along with what needs a fresh approach. So now that a brand new year is here, what should you keep doing and what should you change?
We can’t predict the future, but we can use data, research, and lots of experience with our clients to tell you what marketing strategies to try in 2021.
5 Marketing Strategies to Try in 2021
1. Sharpen Your Messaging and Uniqueness
Many businesses don’t take the time to understand their target audience’s true needs, and how their solution uniquely solves the problem their customers have. Competition is stiff, and digital messaging is flooding every channel. Break out of the echo chamber and get your audience to listen to you by narrowing your messaging to focus on exactly how you’re different. But be careful not to make it all about you. That uniqueness should be highlighted in a way that puts your customer in the spotlight, not your brand.
2. Nurture Your Email List
Some of you might be surprised to see this subject on a list of marketing strategies to try in 2021, but we assure you that email is not dead. Lots of businesses spent way too much of their time focusing on social media followers and not nearly enough on the people who have already said they want to receive content straight into their inbox.
Social media is great for generating brand awareness and connecting with people, but you will never own it. Mark Zuckerberg owns Facebook and can change the algorithm with a snap of his fingers, plummeting your organic reach. But email? That you own, and you can guarantee when you hit that send button, your message will go straight to a group of people who want to hear from you.
3. Implement a Data-Focused Content Strategy
Content marketing is powerful when you do it right, and most growing businesses don’t. Without research, data, a concrete plan, solid copywriting, and a way to get your message to the right people, you’re just shouting into the abyss. Focus your efforts in the right places and you can establish yourself as a thought leader, build trust, and attract an audience who is ready to buy from you.
Search engine optimization (SEO) may seem intimidating, but it is worth the effort to build into your content strategy. There are many, many techniques to improve your SEO, and they can be pretty technical (we try to simplify it some here). However, the main thing to keep in mind is that you should be creating content for real humans with consideration for search engines, not the other way around.
4. Manage Your Online Reputation
Google is leaning harder than ever into highlighting local businesses when people are searching for something online. You need to claim your company listing on Google My Business and spend some time updating your profile, requesting, and responding to reviews. Your online brand reputation is critical and will be even more so in a post-COVID world. Plus, customer reviews can actually impact your local SEO, because Google likes when you leverage their platform.
5. Get More Social
Yes, we did just tell you to pay more attention to your email list than to social media, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a strong social plan in place when nailing down your marketing strategies for 2021. The key here is to work smarter, not harder. Embed your social media strategy into your overall content strategy. Repurpose blogs and email content by pulling out quotes, breaking down the content, and turning your articles into video or graphic series. In 2021 your social media content is going to work even harder for you because Google is starting to index social content —so get to work on those SEO keywords when writing both website blogs and posting on LinkedIn.
A fresh marketing strategy can re-energize your business for a new year. With a little bit of work, you can reach new audiences, draw in more customers, and grow your company. These 5 marketing strategies to try in 2021 should be the foundation of your plan, but foundation alone isn’t enough — you have to consistently execute. Our Marketing Planning Like a Pro workbook will help you do just that.
Need a more comprehensive marketing course to help you get a more complete grasp on your 2021 marketing strategy? Enroll in &Marketing U to get all of the tools, education, and accountability you need to grow your business this year.
&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.