2020 has been a year of tremendous turmoil, change and uncertainty. With social and political uprisings, a pandemic, and an election year, businesses everywhere have had to pivot their marketing strategies to address the challenges of a changing world. But it hasn’t been all bad; this year has ushered in a new way of thinking about remote work, engaging audiences and drawing in new customers.
Life will eventually return to a new normal, but in the meantime, it’s important to keep up with your marketing goals and plan your marketing strategy for 2021. It may seem intimidating to plan for uncertain times, but don’t panic—we are here to help you prepare for success in the coming year.
Create your 2021 business goals—and be specific!
Creating goals for your business can be a challenging and overwhelming process but try not to go too vague with them just to get something down on paper. You want to set yourself up for success, so take this opportunity to remember the old business adage of setting SMART goals, i.e. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
First, think about why each goal is important and what the value of achieving each of these goals will bring to your business in 2021—will they make you money, engage your community, bring in new customers, or something else? Get as creative and go as broad as you want in the brainstorming process and then, when you’ve identified your main goals, get specific.
For example, instead of saying, I want to blog more, think about how often you want to post a blog. How will you draw awareness to your blog? Will you post it on social media or send it to your email list? How many words will each blog have? How will you incorporate SEO into each post?
Once you’ve identified your core goals, think about what steps you’ll need to take to accomplish them. Do you need to create a roadmap that details everything you’ll do from January 1 to December 31? Do you need a to-do list? Do you need an accountability partner?
And last but not least, set deadlines and checkpoints for yourself. This will allow you to assess how you’re performing on your goals. Maybe you set quarterly check-in meetings with your team or put a reminder on your calendar to reassess your process every few months. Just remember that the journey to achieving your goals is not set in stone—tweak it as necessary.
Curate human-interest content that engages your community
If there’s one thing that 2020 has taught us, it’s that the stories we tell and content we create can have a profound impact on our audience. Sales-y, conversion-focused content is losing popularity and understandably so. With worries about health and sociopolitical issues at the forefront of people’s minds, the last thing your audience probably wants is you trying to push your products onto them. People are searching for community and a way to connect with others to know that they’re not alone, so think of ways that your business can provide and focus on community-building. If you do this and connect to your audience on a human level, the sales will come.
And if that’s not enough to convince you, search engines are looking for content that reflects what real humans are searching for. Instead of writing content chock-full of exact keywords and phrases meant for bots, think about what you might Google when looking for a product or service like yours. In other words, cater to the emotional, touchy-feely side of your audience—they’ll appreciate your transparency.
Reassess your 2020 content and find areas where you can make changes
Right about now, you might be thinking, “I posted on three different social media platforms, five days a week in 2020, sent out a weekly newsletter, and wrote bi-weekly blog posts. How on earth am I going to reassess all of my content from the last year?”
You don’t have to look at every piece of content you posted in 2020, but consider looking at some of your highest and lowest performing content and think about what worked and didn’t work, and apply that to your content strategy for 2021.
Think about what the state of the world will be on January 1. Does the content you have planned make sense? Is it sensitive to the global crisis we are living through right now? Does it reflect the desires and needs of your audience? Really tap into your community’s brains or think about what you would want to see, read, or watch if you were on the receiving end of your own content.
Don’t be afraid to get creative
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented reactions. And chances are, you’ve already had to be creative with your marketing and content strategies this year. If your company was primarily accessible only in physical locations pre-COVID, you’ve probably had to make the shift to online shopping, virtual events, and more. Continue to think about how you can adapt your strategies in creative ways to ensure your success.
A new year is also a perfect time to experiment with new ideas you haven’t tried before. Is there a social media platform that you’ve been wanting to use? Have you been wanting to take a course in graphic design to up your image game? New year, new you! Get creative, try new things, and see what sticks.
It may be November, but there is no magic wand to wave to bring people to your website or your Facebook page or your storefront on January 1. While you may be switching up your marketing strategy for 2021, you can always be working on and tweaking your foundation for your business, your messaging, and how you interact with your audience. Start creating those specific goals and reassessing your old content now so that you’re prepared to be up and running after the holidays.
How Sunny Dublick Marketing can help
We are in the business of helping businesses connect with their audiences on a human level while staying on top of the latest marketing trends. If you want help with your 2021 marketing strategy, drop us a line.