2020 changed the marketing game for most businesses. New marketing challenges led to new opportunities and marketing strategies for businesses to innovate. Everyone was compelled to adopt digital marketing channels to stay resilient and connect with their customers. Now that we have entered 2021, businesses need to be swift in rethinking their marketing strategy for the year.
They need a fool-proof strategy to move ahead in 2021. A strategy that is not just built from the lessons learned in 2020 but also an improvised version that will be able to tackle the challenges that they may have to face.
If you also aim to succeed with marketing in 2021, you must have a strategy in place. And that’s where this write-up would come in. It will help businesses craft a successful marketing strategy for 2021. So, let’s get started.
Analyze the Past Year’s Marketing Strategy Results
Creating a new marketing strategy for 2021 doesn’t mean you start all afresh (unless you are a startup launching in 2021). Instead, analyze the past year’s digital marketing efforts and metrics before getting started for 2021.
This will help you identify what’s working and what’s not.
Analyze the data from the past year to assess the results. Google Analytics, SEMRush, and other analysis tools can help you conduct an in-depth analysis. You need to have pointers for each effort put in, campaigns launched, and the results derived from them.
Also, check what channels drove the most value in the past year?
Analyze each channel, be it social media, blogs, ads, outreach, link building, email marketing, and all others. Check for the marketing qualified and sales qualified leads received from each channel.
Depending on your business goals, categorize each channel driving the most marketing qualified and sales qualified leads. This will help as a base for your next year’s marketing strategy.
Define Current Year’s Objectives
The next thing that businesses need to define while drafting a marketing strategy is the objectives.
- Is it sales?
- Do you want business visibility?
- Is your business looking to achieve more profits?
- Do you aim to expand your business?
- Or do you seek to expand your service horizon?
You need to know what your business goals are for the year. This is what will shape your marketing strategy.
Once you have determined your goals and objectives for the year, it is time to analyze the multiple factors and market differentiators driving you towards that goal.
Conduct Competitor Analysis
The next step to take for crafting a fail-proof marketing strategy is to analyze the competitors. It means not just going by the marketing efforts they have put in but also analyzing the results.
An in-depth competitor analysis can help discover strategies, keywords, demographics, and much more for your next marketing strategy.
A SWOT analysis of the competitor is the way to go. Look for the following:
- Strengths of the competitor that you can also capitalize on.
- Weaknesses of the competitors that you should avoid.
- Opportunities in the competitor landscape that you can clutch.
- Threats from competitors in regards to their digital expansion.
There are several marketing tools to analyze such data. This includes SEMRush, Quick Search, SimilarWeb, UberSuggest, and many more. Such tools can help you analyze your competitor well and use the data to shape your strategy.
Define Marketing Funnel and Channels
From the first step, you must have already shortlisted the most effective channels driving the most values for the past year. This will be very helpful in solidifying your marketing strategy for 2021.
You need to plan ahead and define the marketing funnel for the year. Any typical marketing funnel as four stages: awareness, engagement, conversion, and loyalty or advocacy (in the same order). This is the direction you need to take to draft a marketing strategy.
Start with creating a strategy for building brand awareness. This could include social media presence, blogs, newsletters, guest posts, and much more. Once you have a presence, you can move ahead to convert those visitors. The funnel helps create a step-by-step process for getting more visitors, buyers, and advocates for your brand.
For each phase or stage in the marketing funnel, make sure you have defined the right marketing channel. These channels are where all your promotions will happen. In order to define the right channels, you need to start by digging your data and analyzing what channels your user personas are most active on. Pick the channel that would be the right fit based on your business and offer amazing content.
Invest in Great Marketing and Automation Tools
There are several marketing and marketing automation tools available in the market. A marketing strategy would be incomplete without using the right tools. Here are some marketing and marketing automation tools that you should use:
- Google Analytics: for analyzing the complete performance of the content and campaigns
- MailChimp: for automating email campaigns and close more leads
- HubSpot: for total marketing automation from creating and publishing to analyzing, campaigns, and email marketing
- HootSuite: for managing social media and scheduling posts across all channels
- SEMRush: for monitoring keywords, position, brand, and other things for your marketing efforts
- SharpSpring: to optimize conversions and boost sales and pass sales qualified leads forward
- KISSmetrics: for tracking, analyzing, and monitoring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts
- Google Keyword Planner: for choosing the right keywords and researching the competitor keywords
Marketing Strategy Recommendations for 2021
When it comes to marketing strategy, there are several marketing recommendations that one can use. Here are some recommendations that businesses can follow in 2021.
Re-check For Core Web Vitals
This is one of the latest Google updates, and businesses not optimized for this algorithm will suffer. It is imperative that businesses get their website optimized for this update or else they could be penalized and their SERP ranking might drop.
Revisit Your Interaction Tactics
The way businesses interact with customers is changing. A digital experience platform can be great in helping businesses increase their digital interactions. Make sure the message is consistent and is being considerate of the events around.
Invest In Social Media
Social media is not going anywhere. Instead, it will balloon in 2021. So, if businesses want to have a stronger impression on their visitors, connecting with them on social media is a must.
Optimize Site For Voice Searches
With Siri, Echo, and Alexa becoming common in every home, there will be a definite increase in voice searches. Businesses would have to optimize their content to be ranked for keywords with voice-search intent.
Have a Marketing Plan for the Unforeseen
If 2020 taught everyone one thing, it is to be ready for the unforeseen. Everything is extremely unpredictable and the ability to pivot with the situation is what keeps a business going. Many businesses had to launch their website in a hustle. Those who afforded to bypass their digital presence had to outsource software development to be where their customers were – on digital channels. If they wanted to reach their audience even during the global lockdown, pivoting the marketing strategy to boost their web presence was imperative.
So, coming 2021, businesses have a digital presence but they still need to have a plan of action for the unforeseeable circumstances as well.
Innovative businesses survived the pandemic with an out-of-the-box marketing strategy. They found an opportunity even in the worldwide lockdown. This is what every business has to learn. Sometimes having a fail-proof strategy can also fail, owing to the situations around. This is why one needs to have a back-up plan or a plan for unforeseen times.
Bottom Line: Go Digital for Successful Marketing Strategy
If we leave aside the chaos that 2020 created, it paved the way for massive digitalization for most businesses. It brought two years’ worth of digitalization in just two months. Businesses pivoted the way they marketed and sold their products and services. No wonder, 2020 became the year of digital sales.
And this is not going to change anytime soon. Despite the vaccine, customers are still not confident to step out and make physical interactions. They are consuming more information through digital-only channels.
The marketing strategy for 2021 would be about the end-consumers who are now on digital channels. To succeed in marketing this year would only mean strengthening the digital marketing game.