To say 2020 has been one big garbage fire of a year would be an understatement. But alas, 2021 brings new opportunities to turn things around, at least as far as your business’s marketing efforts are concerned. 

When it comes to your business and where you hope to go in the next year, now is the ideal time for some reflection. Take some time for yourself in the coming weeks to sit back, relax, and take a hard look at how your year went, where you may have gone wrong, and the many ways in which you can get on the right track in the new year. 

If, like so many, you have struggled to achieve your marketing goals in 2020, here are a few tips for how to get it right in 2021. 

Invest in your website

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was that awesome website. If you have been struggling to find the perfect website for your business, know that you are not alone. A stylish, functional website is by no means easy to come by. It could take months or years before you finally get yours up to par. 

Even if you’ve poured your heart and soul (and hard-earned money) into your business website, there are many reasons why it may still, despite your best efforts, take a turn for the worse. There’s even a chance that your current website isn’t doing much at all in terms of new sales. From a lack of functionality to text-heavy sites that can straight-up bore a man to death, there is plenty that can go wrong with a website, no matter how much money you throw at it. Invest in a functional website through a reputable web development professional and you’ll see how much easier running your business can be. 

Schedule your content

Content is a double-edged sword. It can be difficult enough to create good, valuable content, but even after that— you’ve still got to post the stuff. That’s where scheduling comes in.

Why take a month to do what can be done in a day? Too many business owners struggle with what and when to post to social media when that time can be better spent on operating said business. Setting aside one or two days per month to create content and scheduling your social media posts via third-party software like Meet Edgar or Later can make the prospect of a consistent social media presence that much more attainable. 

Consider a collaboration

Let us preface this by saying collaborations won’t work for everyone. While Adweek has listed brand-to-brand collaborations as one of the top marketing trends for 2021, it’s possible your business model just doesn’t allow for such a strategy. And that’s OK.

However, if it makes sense for your business, a masterful collaboration may be just what you need to breathe new life into your marketing efforts. Whether a collaborative Instagram giveaway, a special Buy 1, Get 1 promotion, or a simple referral code, consider how collaborations can help you strengthen your marketing from here on out. 

Not quite convinced of the benefits? Look what Mario Lopez has done for KFC.

Evaluate your narrative

What is your narrative? What are your values? When others think of your business and brand, what do they see?

Are you known for your good customer service?

Your unique menu?

Your killer work ethic?

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your brand and what it means to you. Do your website and social media channels clearly convey who you are and why you do what you do?

If not, you’ve got some soul-searching to do. Evaluate your narrative and tweak it until it feels like…you. Whether that means a catchy new slogan, a total rebrand, or something as simple as more playful social media content, think long and hard about what your brand represents and edit your marketing materials to reflect this. 

Expand your real estate

No, we don’t mean buy more houses, though wouldn’t that be nice? By real estate, we mean internet real estate. This means getting your brand out there. Really out there. 

Expanding your internet real estate means registering your business with directories, review apps, and the like. If you own a brick and mortar storefront and your products are not available to purchase online — why not? Expanding your online real estate means increasing the chances of your brand getting seen across the web. If you don’t have a solid online presence, you are doing your brand a disservice and it’s time to get it right. 

Keep it real

There’s a common misconception that the less you talk about something, the less it is noticeable. This might be true when, say…passing gas, but it certainly doesn’t apply to all in the era of COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic is on everyone’s mind, and no amount of dancing around the subject will make this less so. Instead of brushing hard topics under the rug, consider a careful approach to putting it out in the open. We promise your audience will respect you for it. 

Also, keep in mind that this bid for openness doesn’t apply just to COVID-19, either. Social justice is top-of-mind for many consumers, and data shows they want to hear from the companies from which they buy. This means highlighting your company’s culture, your stance on important social issues, and your plans for how to make the world a better place. If you don’t have a plan, there’s no better time to create one. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll see an impact. 

Upgrade the customer experience 

Customer experience is important, but you may be underestimating just how important it is. While factors like price once dictated where customers choose to shop, customer experience is now the #1 determinant. From a marketing standpoint, you want your customer’s experience with your brand to be top-notch from start to finish. 

The first step in elevating the customer experience is addressing their needs from the get-go. Is your website easy to navigate? 

Does it have a FAQ section to quickly and easily address common customer questions?

Are you quick to respond when they shoot you a FB message in passing? 

When your customer steps into your store, are they greeted with a smile or ignored? 

How easy is it for them to purchase your product or service? 

Then, there’s going above and beyond for your customer’s experience. If you’re a small business, you might find that handwritten notes included with shipped goods can be effective. Personalizing your customer experience can go a long way in building loyalty, which has the potential to take your business places you never thought possible. 

Don’t dismiss digital ads

Haphazardly throwing cash at your ad budget doesn’t work as well as it used to. In a bad economy, every dollar counts. This is why you want to carefully consider your ad strategy and whether or not your money is being put toward the best use possible. Chances are, it’s not.

Building an ad strategy that makes sense for your business might involve some hard decisions. With the success of digital ads at an all-time high, it may be time to make some changes in regard to how your ad dollars are spent. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on the odd local magazine or radio spot, think about how far those hundreds of dollars can go online where your audience is. 

Build your community

Everyone wants more likes, more comments, more followers. But how? The first step in the equation is to rid yourself of the notion that your social media needs thousands of followers to be successful. These days, that just isn’t true.

Try not to focus so heavily on vanity metrics. Thousands of followers may seem appealing and give you the false impression you’re doing everything right, but this could be far from reality. After all — what good will thousands of followers do for you if none of them are willing to actually buy?

What is important, though, is that your followers are the right type of followers — those who will interact with your business on a deeper level. Put some effort into educating and entertaining your audience and improving their lives any way you can. This can be with tips related to your industry, or fun facts and trivia. Think outside the box and put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes to navigate the task of building your engagement. What would you want to see? Start there.

Craft the perfect call-to-action

Many businesses do a great job of putting out the right messaging. One thing often missing is the perfect call-to-action to back it up.

Why is a call-to-action important?

A call-to-action is likely the last thing your reader will see when they come across your business on social media at any given time. Without a clear and concise call-to-action that tells them why and how to purchase your good or service, you may not be stretching your content as far as it can go.

That’s not to say that all of your content should have a call-to-action. After all, no one wants to be constantly sold to. Endless calls-to-action can seem disingenuine and, frankly, desperate. However, be aware that the perfect call-to-action has the power to convert your audience into customers — the ultimate goal of your digital presence. Bottom line: don’t leave your calls-to-action up to chance.

Taking charge of your marketing strategy now is a great way to take your business to new heights in the New Year. Whether you need a new website, a digital marketing campaign, or videography and graphic design to help your brand come to life, the team at Triggers is ready to help you achieve your marketing goals in 2021. Send us a message to get started.