So last week I reflected on my predictions for social media and digital marketing trends. This week, I'm looking ahead to 2021 and what I think the must-have strategies and tactics are that we all need to incorporate within our marketing activities going forward.
As always, there are so many different things I can talk to you about but, in essence, it all comes down to the following five points.
1. Reconnect With The Business You Are In
Your ‘Why' has always been a core component of your marketing strategy, but now more than ever we need to realign ourselves, and our content to this to ensure we are earning the buy-in of our prospects. Times have been tough for many from a financial perspective. So if you want your marketing efforts to convert into sales, you have to ensure you are communicating, not only the value you bring, but also what is driving you to deliver.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are you really in the business of?
- Who is it you're really serving?
From there, know and communicate your answers throughout your content. Identify the blocks that will stop you converting business and overcome those elements through your marketing efforts too.
2. Maintain An Agile Marketing Presence
If there was ever a year we had to be prepared for anything marketing-wise it was 2020! Those who responded accordingly and were agile in dropping and reworking campaigns – or possibly even implementing brand new ones overnight, are the ones who I am sure are finishing the year strong.
Think about it, think about all the email campaigns that went on pause. The adverts that didn't run because of imagery that wasn't reflective of social distancing rules. Think about Black Friday and the social media related content we saw following that. In recent weeks, as Christmas adverts have been aired and racist responses have been received, look at how businesses have come together in campaigns in order to stand together. This activity is costly and clumsy if we're not prepared to work with agility – long may the lessons learnt in 2020 regarding this continue into 2021, in my opinion!
3. Recognise Your Avatars are Changing
You may still be serving the same audience, but as phrases like ‘the new normal' continue to irritate us more and more, it is unacceptable to believe that the avatars and personas you have previously detailed and targeted have remained exactly as they were. Whether it's working habits or buyer behaviour that have changed, many of us will need to go back to the drawing board and redefine the behaviours and interests of our target clients, ensuring we adjust advertising campaigns, and general marketing messages accordingly.
For many of us, our client base doesn't want to sit on the sidelines as they used to. They want to get in the game, and that means more interaction and engagement online. Look to create opportunities for your audience to get in the game through challenge-style content. Or simply give them a safe space to voice their opinion.
4. Make Multi-Channel Marketing Your Thing
Two words… touch points. Previously, you may have thought more about how many times you needed to make contact with your prospects when it comes to your marketing activity. But this year I guarantee you spend more time considering the medium. Which medium you should spend more time on, which you should automate, which you're not using but you should be. Going forward, as the workforce becomes wider spread and you never really know who's in the office or working from home, the data we look to gather and the methods we use the data for our outreach will widen. However, I anticipate that we will also ensure efficiency through close measurements and use of automation so that we don't fall into overwhelm.
5. Get Personal – Be Raw, Be Vulnerable
Personal branding has continued to grow and there have been some changes to the shape of it. However, our audiences are looking for our brands to be more personal. They want to see the real people behind the scenes, not the pseudo celebs that exist within our businesses that we're happy to wheel out for the adoring masses! (OK, I over-egged that one a little!)
In a world where contact feels more limited than it's even been, and the desire to know and trust the people and brands you invest in is at an all-time high, it's important that we take a moment to consider how best to overcome that gap that lies between. We have the perfect opportunity to give our audience the trust and unity they crave in today's world.
For years we've talked to our clients about creating ‘fly on the wall' content. 2021 is going to take that a step further. Successful campaigns won't just give us a sneak peek behind the scenes – they'll throw the doors wide open and allow clients and customers to see what they're buying into, warts and all!
Well, I can tell you voice is going to continue to rise in 2021, that we'll all be investing more in automation and our marketing tech stacks will become more and more efficient. Video strategies will change with an increase in TikTok style content. I can tell you we'll all increase our social advertising budgets but that results will be harder to obtain, and I can tell you how we'll get smarter on the use of influencers.
In honesty though, that's all stuff I thought would happen last year, and because of the virus, it will just carry forward into 2021. But even so, all of those changes still tie into one or more of the five points I've described above.
Good luck with your 2021 marketing – I wish you every success and I, along with the rest of the GU team are here to help you make it your best year yet.
Let's do this!