CTO at Zero Gravity Marketing, a full-service, industry-leading digital marketing agency.
At my company, we’re certainly no strangers to how technological changes impact buyers’ decisions. We’ve seen digital marketing connect to buyers in new ways thanks to advances in tech. However, this year has been particularly interesting. So far, 2020 has changed the way businesses operate. This year has introduced an entirely new world of thinking when it comes to working remotely, attracting audiences and engaging with customers.
Of course, things will eventually go back to normal — or, more likely, a new normal — but that doesn’t mean you should set your content strategy goals aside for the time being and wait for something great to happen. Now is the time to tackle the rest of this year and get your 2021 strategy in place. My team and I have thought about approaches to strategy for the upcoming year and put together a few ways for you to create your own approach.
1. Start Selling Your Products And Services Early
A magic button isn’t going to bring more people to your storefront on January 1, 2021. You need to be working toward your goals long before the new year arrives. While you might have different strategies for 2021, the foundation of your marketing practices should build upon existing trials and errors. Start planning your sales, campaigns and social posts now so you can be ready to hit the ground running when the calendar pages flip over.
2. Understand The Need For E-Commerce
It’s no secret that e-commerce businesses have seen an influx in traffic — even as many other types of organizations have taken huge hits to their bottom line. If one thing remains almost certain in our new normal, it’s that people are more likely to continue to purchase goods and services online even after public areas have opened.
For a marketer, it’s in your best interest to set up an e-commerce shop on your website so your customers can easily access your products and services when browsing online. When you put the power of search engine optimization (SEO) into your company’s campaigns, your audience will soon follow. Your job is to make the purchasing experience as simple as possible for them once they arrive.
3. Embrace The Power Of Nonlinear Journeys
Digital channels are becoming savvier, which means the days of linear click paths — or those situations in which a customer would see an ad and head to the store to buy that product — are long gone.
Today’s consumers are being offered ads that fit exactly what they’re looking for. This is because the algorithms of current technology understand when they’re searching for camping gear, apartments near a certain area code, or anything else they might need or want. The internet isn’t a mind reader; it simply harnesses the power of data to unlock the mysteries of your customers’ thoughts and behaviors.
In 2021, I see nonlinear journeys continuing to go well beyond social media, incorporating traditional TV and radio advertisements alongside ads on voice-driven devices. To stay on top of the game, you should embrace the power of nonlinear journeys and everything that comes with them.
4. Include Marketing Automation
You might have already incorporated marketing automation into your company’s strategy. If you did, that’s good on you because the coming year will bring even more technologies to which organizations will need to adapt. New tools will enable better personalization and customization of advertising, allowing you to speak to a prospect’s interests or actions using cost-effective yet highly strategic and targeted messaging. A 2017 study conducted by Salesforce indicated that 67% of successful marketers were using a marketing automation platform, while another 21% planned to use one in the coming years.
5. Employ Google Tag Manager
Google is renowned for offering free tools that help marketers make the most of their efforts, and Google Tag Manager is the next thing to hop on that bandwagon. With Google Tag Manager, you can leave your developers alone to do what they do best while still getting your hands on the data that will matter most to your team. Tag Manager integrates with Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn Campaign Manager and a ton of other third-party advertising platforms where you can share the wealth of knowledge that your company has to offer.
6. Create Content For Humans
Once upon a time, the search engines looked for exact keywords and phrases, which often meant that the content produced for websites was bland and hard to follow. Key phrases often missed prepositions or placed words that didn’t flow to human readers. Thankfully, those days are gone. Today’s search engines are smart enough to understand what searchers are looking for, and they can gather context clues from your writing even if you insert a preposition into a key phrase. In other words, write for humans, not bots.
With 2021 just around the corner, now is a great time to build your marketing strategy. If you’re struggling to get your strategy on point, try the suggestions on this list. However you prepare for the upcoming year, remember the changes 2020 has brought and the new normal emerging as a result.
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