8 Ways to Rethink Your Marketing Strategy in 2021

The new year is always a good time to get a fresh start. For businesses, 2020 was all about keeping up, reacting quickly, and trying to stay afloat. Though the pandemic will inevitably follow us into 2021, you can prepare by building a marketing strategy that positions your business for long-term growth.

Get ahead in 2021 with these eight tips for rethinking your marketing strategy.

1. Apply What You Learned in 2020

Chances are your business had to pivot your marketing in response to the pandemic. Maybe you launched a content campaign or built up your online presence through digital advertising. Whatever new ideas you tried, now is the time to analyze your results. Mine your data to understand what tactics worked best and what messages resonated most with your audiences, then carry them through into your 2021 marketing plan.

2. Refresh Your Branding

Even in a normal year, brands can shift and change as the business grows. With all the uncertainty in 2020, your brand likely evolved to meet the challenges. Take a close look at your branding to see if it still represents your brand values, your business, and what you have to offer. If not, take time in 2021 to give your branding a refresh to help you reconnect with your audiences.

3. Revisit Your Target Audiences

Just as your branding may be due for a refresh, your target audiences are also worth a second look. How we do business has changed, which could mean your customer base has changed too.

Perhaps you offered a new product or service that caters to an entirely different audience, or your existing customers took advantage of expansions in your product line. Find out by looking at your sales data from the past year and identifying common characteristics among your top customers. Once you determine who your target audiences should be, you can customize your marketing efforts to speak to their values and interests.

4. Focus on Building Trust

Trust is the foundation of customer loyalty, and now more than ever, loyalty is essential for a business’s success. That’s why in 2021, most of your marketing efforts should be focused on building trust and strengthening relationships with your customers.

Content marketing offers an opportunity to do just that. Content comes in many forms, but it all boils down to giving your audience what they’re looking for. Whether that’s education, entertainment, inspiration, or solutions to their biggest challenges, putting out regular, relevant content will demonstrate your brand’s value and expertise, giving your customers a reason to return again and again.

5. Personalize Your Campaigns

Personalization is not just “nice to have”—it’s an expectation. If your marketing messages aren’t relevant to the recipient, they are more likely to be ignored or deleted. By leveraging your customer data, you can create highly targeted content for both digital and print.

Here are some quick wins in personalization:

  • Align the messaging to your audience’s interests, values, and needs.
  • Use images that reflect who your audience is. Demographics are important, but remember to focus on other characteristics too, such as lifestyles, activities, and locations.
  • Make suggestions or recommendations based on past activity.
  • Visualize data in an infographic, like a customer’s history or involvement with your business over the past year.

6. Create Brand Experiences

Gone are the days when marketing was a one-way conversation. Now there are so many ways to engage your customers with your brand. In 2021, try your hand at some of these marketing techniques.

  • Develop interactive content that fosters engagement, such as videos, quizzes, or games.
  • Spark a conversation and empower users to respond through comments and direct messages.
  • Curate user-generated content to add authenticity to your brand, such as customer photos, reviews, and testimonials.
  • Go above and beyond expectations by sending personalized packages to complement your virtual initiatives.
  • Create immersive brand experiences with an experiential marketing approach.

7. Incorporate Print into Your Marketing Strategy

If you’ve been focusing your marketing efforts primarily on digital platforms, the new year presents an opportunity to re-examine the value of print marketing for your business. Print grabs attention and allows you to create memorable touchpoints in the customer journey. It also helps you sidestep the challenge of digital fatigue by reaching consumers in a different medium. Plus, print can bolster your digital marketing efforts by driving traffic to your website, social media pages, apps, or other online channels.

8. Ramp Up Your Online Presence

Your website is still one of your brand’s best marketing tools. While other digital channels are great for engagement, your website is where customers will go to learn more about your business and to make purchases.

First and foremost, you want your website to be optimized for search engines so people can find it. SEO is an ongoing process; it’s a good idea to regularly evaluate your content and address any technical issues with your site before they impact your rankings.

But beyond that, take time early in the year to make updates to your content depending on how your business has shifted during the pandemic. Does your site include information about new products or services you offer? Does it reflect your new hours and operating procedures? Is it easy for users to find how to contact you? If not, these are some quick changes to make to your website to ensure a more user-friendly experience.

Most of All, Stay Agile in 2021

While we’re all hoping for a resolution and return to normal life in 2021, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Make sure that any marketing plans you put in place are still nimble and flexible, so your business can adapt quickly to unexpected changes.

Keep Your Mind and Body Active from the Comfort of Your Home

With businesses closed and jobs transitioned to remote work, most of us have been stuck at home for weeks on end. Worse yet, there’s no telling when this pandemic could end, which can add on to feelings of stress and anxiety.

While sitting on the couch and binge-watching movies or your favorite TV shows might have sounded like a dream at first, lounging around probably got old pretty quickly. Now, you might be pacing your living room, itching for something to do.

To relieve some quarantine stress and help you feel productive while stuck inside, it’s best to engage your mind and body each day. Here’s a helpful list of ideas on how to keep your mind and body active – all from the comfort of your own home.

  • Journal daily: Journaling is a great way to express your thoughts and experiences in a healthy way. Grab a spare notebook and dedicate a little time to journaling in it every day. Write down your thoughts and fears or a few things you’re grateful for to help you center yourself.
  • Start a blog: Do you have a special skill or hobby you’re passionate about? Start a blog and share your unique ideas with the world! From cooking to crocheting to lifestyle inspiration, anything is fair game. Or, start a “quarantine blog” where you can share your experiences during social distancing and help others understand they’re not alone.
  • Do at-home workouts: You don’t need a full gym to complete a challenging workout! Using only body-weight exercises, small free weights you can store in a closet, or household items, you can get your blood pumping and stay active inside. Make a goal to complete at least one 20-minute workout a few days per week. You can even get the entire family involved!
  • Clean and declutter: Staying inside is one thing, but staying inside a messy house is another. Use your spare time to spruce up your space from top to bottom. Now is the perfect opportunity to clear out that hallway closet you’ve been avoiding or to reorganize your pantry. Break down areas of your home and try to tackle a little bit each day.
  • Practice mindfulness: The world is a scary place right now, and tensions are high. Instead of scrolling through social media, take a break and focus on mindfulness. Short meditation sessions where you focus on your breathing or an encouraging mantra can help you relieve stress and calm down from feeling overwhelmed.
  • Make an inspirational collage: Mood boards or inspirational collages are both creative and encouraging. Gather supplies you have around your house and create a collage of things you want to do after the pandemic is over, as well as some of your longer-term goals. Clip pictures from old magazines, dust off your paintbrush and paint sets, pull out that giant pack of colored pencils from your desk drawer, and get creative!
  • Check books off your reading list: It can be difficult to find time for quiet reading during the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and your reading list might seem endless. Don’t let books collect dust on your shelves! Now is the perfect time to immerse yourself in a fantasy world or fictional story as an escape.
  • Do a yoga challenge: Yoga is a great activity for the mind and body since it blends mindfulness with body-weight exercises and stretches. Look up a yoga series on YouTube or download a yoga instruction app to get started right in your living room.
  • Take an online course: Lots of educational institutions and hobbyists are offering online classes for free right now, so take advantage of them! If you’ve always wanted to explore a particular subject or you’re looking to bolster your resume, now is the time to learn something new.
  • Connect virtually: You don’t have to suffer in boredom alone! Your friends and family are just a video chat away. Host FaceTime or Zoom calls with family and friends, or propose virtual lunch meetings or coffee dates with coworkers. If you can’t video chat, find an online community to take part in, such as a virtual book club or hobby group to have discussions with.
  • Create the perfect playlist: Music can be energizing, therapeutic, and cathartic. And nobody knows your music taste better than you! Put together some playlists that will lift your spirits or get you ready for a workout, then host a dance party in your living room with your family!
  • Tackle a project you’ve put off: Have you been meaning to re-paint your guest room for months? Have your leaky faucets officially driven you nuts? Take stock of all the home improvement projects you’ve been putting off and try to complete as many as you can with what you have on hand, or order parts online.

Don’t squander the extra time you’ve been given! By keeping your mind and body active and engaged, you can help shed the stress of being stuck at home while also improving your skills, your space, and yourself.