No one could have predicted the zigs, zags, twists and turns we’ve experienced in 2020. And, while it may seem like the dust is still clearing on a crazy year, it’s time for us to capitalize on what’s happening in the current marketing landscape for success in years to come. Here are five marketing trends you can use to elevate your plans:
1. Customers crave human connection on social media.
People are using social media to connect with other people, not brands. They’re more interested in the people behind your brand and what the customers who use your products have to say.
When creating your social media plan for 2021, consider who knows, loves and trusts your brand — both team members within your company and your customer base. Then, empower those brand believers to submit content and share their experiences with their networks. With a little encouragement, your customers will word-of-mouth your brand all the way to 2022.
2. Audience building on owned channels.
How do you get content to your audience? If you rely entirely on social media or SEO, one algorithm change could topple your entire content marketing plan. Similarly, we’ve seen print publications consolidate, removing channels that were once relied upon. Don’t get us wrong —these are still great channels to get your message across — but it might be time to consider owning more of your content.
For the most control in delivering the right message to the right audience, start building owned content channels, such as eNewsletters and SMS platforms, into your content plan. Since these channels are completely owned by you, an algorithm change or publication consolidation will not affect how your audience sees and uses your content. Only you can make those changes.
3. Cookies are still around — but not for long.
By 2022, third-party cookies will be limited or fully removed from most web browsers. This will reduce your ability to collect consumer preference data. That being said, there’s still an entire year left to collect that data — and one year is a lot!
If you collect consumer data in 2021, build it into a CRM, such as Salesforce or HubSpot. That way, you will be able to create a marketing vehicle with the collected data and use it to your advantage for years down the road.
4. Digital advertising is at an all-time high.
With internet users consuming more content online than ever before, digital advertising is also delivering at high frequencies. To get your brand noticed in 2021, digital advertisements are a must. These ads should include striking creative and strong story-telling elements to stand out from the pack. Targeted placements will have the biggest impact on your audience.
5. Reputation matters more than ever before.
Would you want the wrath of the entire internet denouncing your company for a PR issue that could have been easily prevented? Of course not. But with today’s political divisiveness, social justice issues, mounting social pessimism and instantaneous access to social media, it’s important to proactively plan for a crisis — because a crisis will happen, and how you prepare for it will determine how quickly your brand can recover.
It’s also important to know your company’s top potential crises. If you can map out the top crises likely to happen, you can make plans to extinguish them at the first sign of things going wrong. Now more than ever, reputation management should be an ongoing part of your marketing strategy.
Want to learn more about the 2021 marketing plans trends? We’d love to help. Let’s talk!