It’s never a bad idea to have a firm grasp on the bigger picture by tapping into various marketing trends that are likely to dominate in the months to come. And with how unpredictable 2020 was, having an idea of what’s around the corner sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it?
A lot of businesses saw their marketing strategies turned completely upside down as consumers and brand-consumer relationships changed seemingly overnight. They had to quickly adopt new tactics, new tones, and new best practices in order to ride out the storm.
At last, there is seemingly a light at the end of the tunnel. And as we make our way there, it’s important to acknowledge what your business has overcome and to look ahead to what’s next.
Here’s what we see on the horizon as you plan out your 2021 marketing strategies.
1. Don’t Assume Everything is Going to Go Back to “Normal”
“We’re not going back to the same economy, we’re going back to a different economy.” These are the words Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell stated in a (virtual) speech at the Bay Area Council Business Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony in November, and we’re inclined to agree.
The consumer trends and behaviors that have proliferated as a result of the pandemic — think booms in eCommerce spending, at-home experiences, and virtual social connectivity — are unlikely to be going anywhere soon, and many of them may just become economic mainstays moving forward.
If your customers and clients are evolving to a new normal, that means you have to as well. Look at what’s worked for you in the past, but pay heightened attention to the strategies that helped you survive this past year as well since you’re probably still going to need them.
2. Make Social an Even Bigger Part of Your Brand Strategy
With brick-and-mortars closed, social media became a storefront of sorts for businesses around the world. And that’s a great thing when you consider how much that opens up your brand to new prospects and a wider audience.
By now, there’s really no excuse to be neglecting your social media presence. But moving forward, it’s time to look at how you can amp it up even more. Share even more regularly, engage even more with your followers, and diversify your social media channels and campaigns to take advantage of the growing virtual marketplace that’s opening up via social news feeds.
3. Target Outside of Your Own Industry
We’ve always talked a lot about the necessity of targeted marketing. That’s certainly not going to change in 2021, but who you target might. As you re-evaluate your assumed target audience (a good practice to undertake every once in a while regardless), consider the tangential audiences that might also hold some prospect potential for you.
On social media, 45 percent of consumers are looking to suggestions and discovery feeds to find new accounts and brands to engage with. If you can target those feeds, you can target more customers. For example, consumers who are interested in at-home fitness might also be interested in innovative water bottles or recovery supplements. Help these tangential prospects find you, and you’ll also help your bottom line.
4. Double Down on Your Core Offerings
If you currently have a limited marketing budget, you’re definitely not alone. How do you stretch it as far as it will go? By aiming your efforts at your best selling products and/or services instead of spreading yourself thin.
You don’t need to completely ignore your full line of offerings (nor should you), but do prioritize content and ad spending on the items that are most likely to convert with your audience. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck and, hopefully, increase cash flow so you can expand your techniques even further in the years to come.
5. Create Original Videos
Videos have been at the top of marketing trends for quite a while now, and that’s not going to change in 2021. Now might be time to venture over to TikTok or just to start creating short but engaging video clips that accompany other pieces of content or stand alone on social media. Thanks to smartphone technology, you don’t need fancy equipment to make this work for you — just a bit of creativity and some basic editing skills.
Strategize for Success
If there’s one major lesson we picked up in 2020, it’s that you can never totally plan ahead for what’s to come. The marketing strategies above are adaptable, and they’re also valuable regardless of further evolutions in your industry. Adopt them in the new year to stay competitive and stay at the top of your game, and as always, use analytics as you go to see exactly what’s working and what needs to be tweaked.
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