2020 hit everyone hard, both individuals and businesses alike. Headlines heralded breaking news on an almost daily basis, and almost always bad. Thousands of businesses closed. Millions of people lost their jobs, their homes, their loved ones. But you know all of that- you lived through it. The new year means a chance to pivot and focus on moving onwards and upwards. It’s time to plan for the future of your business.
2020 saw a massive scale migration to the digital space. It became very clear, very quickly, that if a business wanted to survive in 2020, it needed to do so online. We’ve seen more products and services move online and many employees will continue to work remotely or in a hybrid setting for much of this year. The digital space expanded like never before, and the time has never been better to take a look at your digital marketing and branding.
To give you a quick refresh, digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that use an electronic device or the internet. Businesses leverage digital channels such as search engines, social media, email, and other websites to connect with current and prospective customers. Branding is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol, or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services. Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.Digital marketing is what gets your brand to the customer. These elements work together to create a unique and attention-grabbing business.
What are some key areas of your digital marketing strategy to focus on? These are some areas that your business needs to consider to engage and retain current customers and generate more traffic, leads, and revenue.
Increasing Social Media Engagement
Organizations should be prepared to dedicate more resources to social media marketing in 2021. During the COVID-19 pandemic, marketers increasingly had to focus on making customer retention a priority. This will continue well into this year- the pandemic has dramatically increased the amount of time people spend online which includes how they research products, brands, and organizations.
This consumer shift creates new opportunities for marketers to increase their reach with new audiences and re-engage with long-time customers. A good social media marketer can develop a content plan, make regular posts, monitor and drive customer responses, and attract new business. If your business has been putting off adding social media services to your marketing mix, now’s the time. Get in touch with one of our social media managers to discuss a strategy that will work for your business.
Focus on SEO and Google Listings
If you’re an online B2C or B2B business, you need your SEO to be up to date and working hard for your website. SEO is, in short, what helps search engines (and thereby your clients) find your website. Make use of SEO tools to stay ahead of the competition and rank among the first results in search engines. Even if success doesn’t arrive abruptly, it is likely that your business will grow and change by taking on new and exciting dimensions. Act for future success and stay one step ahead of the trend.
For B2C businesses with a physical office, your online presence can still be absolutely key for your business. It’s important that your local listings are verified and kept current on various search platforms. What that means is that when people google, for example, ‘coffee shop near me’, your nearby coffee shop shows up with full and current business info (hours, contact, reviews). That’s because for B2C businesses that draw customers primarily on a local level (think dentist office or car dealership), the Google My Business listing provides valuable information about your hours (many of which are in constant flux due to COVID-19), services, and geographical location. Something you can do to improve this right now is to ensure that you have a geographically-defined service area within your local listings. This will help your business show up in “near me” searches. That’s because many search engines (especially Google) prioritize relevance in their search algorithms. It may seem counter-intuitive to limit your business service radius, but by doing so you’ll more deeply penetrate that market in search results. Keeping your listings updated also allows your customers to know of any changes in your hours, promotions, blogs, or any other information you would like to quickly convey.
Improve Communication of Availability
2020 saw the closure of thousands of businesses globally. What that does mean is that the availability of products and services is going to be the number one reason customers are switching brand allegiance right now. Marketers can meet this challenge in a few ways. The most obvious solution is to advertise the availability of your services. Timely communication becomes paramount here- be clear about what you can and can’t do and set reasonable expectations. If you aren’t collecting customer contact information, now is the perfect time to create a subscriber list so that you can be proactive with notifying customers of availability changes with an automated text or email.
More Interactive Content
Adding interactive elements to your website or social media is a great way to provide value for visitors, get them to engage with your brand, and learn more about them. For example, suppose you are a realtor and add a simple but effective mortgage calculator to your website. You’re now offering value to your visitors while also learning more about them based on the data that they enter into the calculator. This info, in turn, can help you refine your personas and offer-targeting. Other examples of interactive marketing include assessments, quizzes, games, polls, interactive videos, surveys, and contests.
Where Do You Go From Here?
While these digital marketing suggestions don’t represent a complete strategy for 2021 digital marketing, they’re a great place to start to get your year off on the right foot, to help you increase your site traffic, generate more leads, and grow sales, all while retaining your hard-earned customer base.
Do you want a more detailed and tailored approach to propel your business forward? Contact one of our digital marketing consultants to get your 2021 off to the best start.