Build Your 2021 Marketing Plan Today
If you are hoping to see a return to marketing as normal in 2021, that’s not looking likely. But businesses have proven to be incredibly resilient during this prolonged period of strangeness, and the hope is that the coming year will be no different.
We have already witnessed a fundamental change in how organizations approach sales and marketing. The idea of being available and helpful to potential clients has become even more vital over the past year as people struggle to cope with financial and other changes.
But what about moving forward? Here are some ways you can continue to adapt, and some of the most important elements you’ll want to include in your 2021 marketing plan.
Do You Need a Marketing Plan?
In short, yes, you do. Approaching digital marketing without a plan is a terrible idea. As a business owner, it is vital that you have a way to connect with potential clients at various stages in their marketing journey.
A typical marketing funnel consists of several stages – awareness, engagement, conversion, advocacy. Since few businesses close a sale with the first contact, your digital marketing strategy should include elements that will engage consumers throughout their journey. This is tough to accomplish without a plan.
Five Most Important Elements in Your 2021 Marketing Plan
Most businesses were happy to say farewell to 2020, but what’s on the table for the coming year? Here are five strategies that you should include in your 2021 digital marketing plan:
- Prioritize Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to be a moving target, and this won’t change in 2021. But there are few trends in SEO that can help your business in the coming year:
- User Experience (UX) – Google now factors “UX signals” into its rankings, so it is essential that you consider things like page load speed, navigation, and content quality.
- Semantic Search – This refers to “how” people search for information online. It’s changing, and Google wants your content to match the user’s intent.
- Zero-Click Search Results – At least some of your content should be optimized to capture Google’s featured snippets, video carousels, and knowledge graphs that can help build brand awareness.
- Google My Business – Every local business should have a claimed and fully-optimized GMB profile to target audiences in local markets.
- Focus on Video Marketing
2020 has changed the way consumers use video, and brands approach it as a digital marketing channel. According to Deloitte, 80% of U.S. consumers now subscribe to a video streaming service, and 78% watch videos online at least weekly.
Watching videos on mobile devices has become particularly popular, and viewers report retaining up to 95% of a message when it’s consumed via video.
If your business or law firm hasn’t focused on video marketing in the past, 2021 should be your year. If you have, keep posting video content and innovating to build brand awareness, instill trust, and drive conversions.
The good news is you have a ton of options when it comes to video content. For example, you can use demonstration videos to showcase services or products. You can post brand videos to share your company’s vision or mission. And you can create educational or frequently asked question (FAQ) videos to help customers better understand concepts or the benefits that you provide.
- Use Google Local Service Ads (LSAs)
Google might have international reach, but if you’re a local service business, you probably want to make a bigger impression on an audience within driving distance. Searchers want a personal injury attorney, a restaurant “near me,” or a plumber to fix an urgent leak.
This is why optimizing for local search through Google My Business profiles is vital. But Google also launched a new service last year that can give your business an even bigger advantage over its competitors – Local Service Ads (LSAs).
With LSAs, your listing will show up as a trusted professional in the area, nestled just above the traditional paid search ads. An LSA will show your business name, your GMB star-rating and number of reviews, your business phone #, hours, and a green check mark with the words “Google Guaranteed.”
LSAs are available for a growing list of service industries and ad regions. If your business is eligible, this is something you should integrate into your 2021 marketing plan.
- Leverage Social Media
Since COVID-19 started, people have been spending more time on social media, and brands have been dedicating more of their budgets to engaging those audiences. According to Marketing Charts, social media budgets rose to 24% of total marketing budgets in 2020, up from 13% the prior year.
This shift in consumer behavior gives your business a twofold opportunity. First, you can use social media to build brand awareness and expand your customer base. Second, you can leverage social channels to re-engage with long-time customers and increase your retention rates.
Social media marketing involves a commitment of time and resources. You’ll want to create a content plan, post on social channels regularly, monitor and respond to customers, and build trust. If you’ve put off social media or not made the most of it in past years, now’s the time to change that.
- Post Informed Content
Personalization has been a hot topic in digital marketing circles over the past several years. When it comes to the customer experience, this can refer to meeting your customer where they are in their journey to find a service provider, such as in the awareness stage vs. the advocacy stage.
Going even a step further than personalization, consumers are now placing a high value on informed content. What does this mean? Depending on your industry, it can mean several things.
In the age of COVID, political unrest, and situations that just change “fast,” consumers place trust in brands that keep them informed. It can be as simple as a timely post or video about a new law taking effect that is relevant to your target audience.
If your brand sells goods or a different kind of services, consumers are placing more value on things that would once seem intrusive. Many people “like” it when a brand anticipates what they might want to buy next, sometimes before they know it themselves. You can send out these suggestions in the form of targeted ads or emails.
Ready to Take Your Digital Marketing Strategy to the Next Level?
There is little doubt that the past year has rattled a few cages, but consumers and businesses alike have learned to pivot with impressive speed. According to McKinsey & Company, 77% of Americans have tried out new brands, places to shop, and shopping methods over the past year. Consumers are no longer passively returning to the same brands, which could provide your business with opportunities in the coming year.
As your business or firm seeks to boost awareness, create value, and drive results using these marketing methods, find out how we can help. Sundown Marketing Group specializes in results-driven digital marketing solutions. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We can be reached at (800) 649-1764.