Getting ready for 2021?
New Year, new beginnings. New hopes. New promises.
For many, 2020 was a year on which we want to hit that 'delete' button.
First the bushfires, draught, floods, then the pandemic & lockdowns. Many businesses were faced with unprecedented challenges. And then the pandemic has sadly tipped all the business plans inside out. And it's the small businesses and start-ups that were hit especially hard.
Luckily, just like the Australian bush is on the best way to recovery after the devastating bushfires, so can the businesses start the slow way to recovery.
But don't start planning your 2021 Marketing Recovery Strategy until you read this.
So, you have the ‘why-on-earth-am-I-in-business?’ figured out and even ‘how-am-I-gonna-do-it’ is nicely taking shape. The long-term goals are locked in as is the niche, mission and vision. You have all your basics like your socials, the website and strategy ticked off. Now what?
What else should you consider for your 2021 marketing strategy to survive all the uncertainties the pandemic has thrown at us?
Here are some free or budget-friendly marketing starter ideas that will get you through this corona-mess.
1. Is It Time To Refresh Your Sales Channels?
Times are changing. Our shopping habits are changing accordingly and the pandemic has messed everything up. So it makes sense to rethink the traditional sales channels that your business has been harnessing up to now. That applies to both, in my opinion, whether you are a B2B, B2C2B or B2C product or services-oriented business.
If the pandemic has made anything clear, it’s the fact that some businesses were not ready to transfer all their offline business operations online or were too slow to respond to the increased online demand, alienating or aggravating certain customers with slow or poor response.
Suddenly, the sales plummeted, customers were not coming back and only those businesses that already had systems in place for online shopping actually thrived. These now have an immense advantage. Hopefully, the pandemic will soon be over and nothing even remotely similar will hit us again, but, admittedly, it has forever changed our shopping habits driving more of us online.
Latest research shows that 63% of shopping occasions begin online and ever since the pandemic our lives are more digitally driven than ever before. Which is why I believe, for businesses of any size it’s critical to have full online shopping processes in place. Having an omni-channel presence is definitely one of the survival necessities for the post-pandemic world.
The question isn’t if you should have an online sales channel, but which one is it gonna be? Amazon, Ebay, Shopify, Netsuite, Social media stores, Etsy, your own App? Find the best one that suits your target audience and make it as seamless & user-friendly as possible from the beginning to end. Because the entire e & m-commerce experience is not just about clicking the ‘add to cart’ button.
2. Mobile Shopping Optimisation
With the above changing habits in mind, it's not surprising that 60% of all google searches are done on mobile Devices. This number is only going to keep rising as we have seen since the first lockdown forcing us indoors. Which only highlights the importance of mobile-optimisation. There are countless digital experts who explore this topic in much greater detail. I always like to see what Neil Patel or Jason Whaling are up to.
Speaking off … Probably time to start slowly thinking about optimising for Voice search.
Oh come on, don't tell me you haven't asked Siri, Google Assistant or another smart home device for something in the past months.
More and more of us are being reliant on the ever-rising AI technology, so it’s kind of a no-brainer to start thinking of optimising your content for voice search.
3. Optimise The Old Content
Whether you are physically selling something or not, if you put the first two points together, it's naturally logical to deduce that SEO will play more crucial role than ever before. After all, if we all live, shop, work online, we need to make it easy to be found.
It's no good to have an amazing online store or a page that no-one knows about or can't find it.
57% of SEO experts rank content creation and content marketing as the #1 way to drive the best results in search marketing. Social media marketing and backlinks rank as the #2 and #3 more effective ways to increase traffic in 2020. That was pre-pandemic. Can you imagine what it’s gonna be like in 2021 if most of our lives are now happening online?
A few pointers to bear in mind when optimising/ recreating your content:
- Is your content relevant?
- When was the last time you updated keywords, alt tags, metatags?
- Is your content built around trending topics? Are they still relevant?
- Can your proposition, your USP, your differentiation, your offering be reworded to be more relevant?
- Are you making the most of the analytics insights? Use that data, it's incredibly helpful in telling us what the customer wants.
- see how you can leverage user generated content as well as your Branded Content. We all know engagement is key and very few things beat the UGC (plus it's free).
4. Time For a Refresh?
Not a bad time to start thinking about refreshing all the visual content aimed at end-users. Your socials, website, any existing marketing collaterals can always do with some fresh content & photography. After all, you have 2-4 seconds to grab someone's attention, so make it count.
If you've been using generic stock images, why not get a professional to create unique visual content that is relevant, unique & authentic to your brand consistently aligned with your brand essence.
5. Stop & Think Outside of the Square
Last but not least, go for a walk or have an impromptu brainstorming sesh to see if your attacking 2021 can be spruced up with some mould-breaking and unchartered concepts that can give you leverage over your competitors.
After all, this is the best time to stop copying what your competitors are already doing and to start being unique in your own amazing way.
Think outside of the square and see how you can be a disruptor in your segment. Find ways to challenge your market space in a way that will make you the competition. Elon Musk didn't built Tesla, Space X or Paypal by doing what others were doing. Neither did Steve Jobs or Melanie Perkins or ... you get the idea.
You know my moto … Be yourself, be unique.
You've got this.
If you wish to read more about budget-friendly marketing tips, don't forget to check this blog on the Top 10 essential marketing tips for start-ups.
Have a great one.