The right marketing strategy can be the difference between the success and failure of your small business. 

Even if your current strategy is generating positive results, there’s always room for improvement. And that leads to the million-dollar question: what’s the best way to take your marketing strategy to new heights in 2021?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, there are several ideas you should definitely consider. Here are five of the best.

Review Past Performance

This is where it all starts. If you don’t know how your marketing strategy has performed in the past, you won’t know what to do in the future. 

Review your performance for 2020, as well as that of the first quarter of 2021. 

What worked best? Which marketing strategies fell flat? Is it time to implement new ideas to kickstart your marketing department?

With the right tools in place, tracking marketing performance is easier than ever before. There are software programs that can do all the work for you. The only thing you have to do is compare the numbers and decide what comes next. 

Bring in a Marketing Strategy Consultant

This is a big step forward for many small business owners, but that shouldn’t stop you from considering it.

There are many benefits of bringing a marketing strategy consultant into your business, including but not limited to:

  • Expert guidance 
  • Another person to share ideas
  • A different view of your marketing strategy 
  • New ideas

It’s scary to bring in an outside marketing consultant. They could change a lot in regards to what you’ve done in the past. It can also rub your marketing team the wrong way. However, if you feel that it’s the best decision for your small business, don’t hesitate to take action.

Tip: don’t hire just any marketing consultant. Do your research to ensure that you hire an experienced and knowledgeable professional with a good track record of success. 

Spend More Resources on Content Marketing

Did you know that 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing? 

That’s a big number (and it’s likely to grow in the future). As you learn more about your competitors, you’re likely to find that many of them — if not all — are spending big-time resources on content marketing.

This doesn’t mean you should go all-in on your content marketing strategy, avoiding other methods that have generated positive responses in the past. But it does mean that you should learn more about content marketing, including the types that have the best chance of yielding the intended results.

Some of the most common forms of content marketing including:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media content
  • Video content
  • Whitepapers
  • Infographics 
  • Slide decks

You get the point. There’s no shortage of ways to get started with content marketing. The most important thing is that you have a defined strategy. This will keep you on the right track. 

Buy the Right Software

Depending on your age, you may remember the days when business software wasn’t popular. It was only for the biggest and most profitable companies.

Fortunately, things have changed over the years, and now there’s software for almost every business-related task.

As a marketing professional, some of the software applications to consider include a customer data platform, a customer review platform, and an analytics platform. 

Before you spend money on any type of software, consider if there’s a free trial available. This allows you to take the software for a test run, thus helping you determine if it suits your wants and needs.

Tip: no matter what type of software you’re seeking, you’re likely to find several solutions. Compare the pros, cons, and features to ensure yourself of making an informed and confident decision. 

Expand Your Efforts

This is where many small business owners come up short. They know what’s worked for them in the past, and they assume that this is all they should focus on in the future.

It’s true that you don’t want to abandon the marketing efforts that have gotten you this far. But at the same time, you never know what else will work until you give it a try.

Slowly expand your efforts to see what other marketing tactics can generate a positive return on  investment (ROI) for your business. 

Tip: as noted above, track the performance of your new marketing efforts. This will tell you if you should continue or when it’s time to stop.

Common Mistakes

As you consider the many ways to improve your marketing strategy in 2021, it’s possible that you could slip up every now and again. And when that happens, it has the potential to cost you time and money.

On the plus side, knowledge of the most common mistakes can help you prevent them. Here are a handful of mistakes to plan for:

  • Moving too fast: It’s a good thing to take action, but don’t get ahead of yourself. Should you move too fast, you could end up losing track of what’s most important.
  • Spending too much: Even if you have the budget for it, don’t overspend on new marketing tactics. Take it slow and steady, track the results, and scale as it makes sense to do so.
  • Doing it all yourself: This almost always brings trouble to your small business. Even if you consider yourself a skilled marketing professional, you’re only one person. And as a business owner, there’s a lot on your plate. Rather than attempt to do everything yourself, hire marketing professionals that you can trust to manage everything on your behalf. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of your marketing goals — from building a brand community to generating more leads for your sales department — it’s critical that you have a strategy you can trust and rely on.

Take the time to think long and hard about the five ideas above and how they could transform your small business for the better.

Would you add any other ideas to this list? What have you had the most success with in the past?