Marketing is a continually evolving landscape. You know this. We know this. But 2020 presented a different challenge than previous years, leaving marketers to dig deep into what they need to do to attract and nurture leads and customers.
2021 will be no different – which shouldn’t make you panic! Part of marketing is doing your due diligence, and we’ve combined resources to come up with some powerful strategies to consider prioritizing in 2021.
The popularity of SMS was already accelerating pre-COVID, but the pandemic made the importance of quick, timely, relevant messages more necessary than ever. People needed fast updates on everything, from closures to switches to remote learning. And SMS marketing provided that, plus an average 98% read rate.
SMS marketing is also useful for both leads and customers in non-COVID-related campaigns, as you can implement various campaigns that are engaging to both audiences. For example, for current customers, you can send them text reminders of appointments or meetings. For leads, you may consider sending them branding awareness campaigns or coupons that may encourage them to buy from you.
The best part? With a platform like SMSZap, getting started with SMS marketing is a breeze. You can set up your account in a few minutes, link up with your contacts in HubSpot, and send personalized and engaging messages.
COVID restrictions sent most people home at one point – to shop or work, or both. This made the demand for digital consumption skyrocket. What does that mean for your efforts in 2021? Your content needs to be high-caliber and plentiful, as well as:
- Relevant to current events (2020 saw everything from social change, major elections, and COVID)
- Made for the diverse crowds
That translates to creating and sharing educational, quality content about your products, services, and your company to your prospects and customers. You can use various resources like blogs, ebooks, infographics, social media, and videos to deliver your messages. No matter what type of content it is, it should address your target audiences’ specific pain points at every stage of their buyer’s journey, including the awareness, consideration, decision, and delight stages.
Video can technically be considered a part of your content marketing – but its importance in our “new normal” isn’t something to shrug your shoulders. People longed for some human connection that they couldn’t get in person. Think about how you can use video in your previously “typical” marketing efforts. Are you switching to more online conferences, events, or webinars? These remote types of content are not going anywhere soon.
Similarly, video is just proven to be a useful tactic. In fact, 79% of consumers reported that a brand’s video convinced them to buy a piece of software or an app. A whopping 92% of those viewers also said they shared videos with others. That alone should help you realize the value of investing in video creation and distribution.
Chatbots and Customer Support Automation
When COVID initially hit, people scrambled to cancel flights, hotels, concerts, trips, appointments; you name it. The importance of a quick and solid customer support experience was integral. But customers weren’t the only ones dealing with the consequences of such an uncertain year. Support agents were hit with an influx of tickets to their helpdesk. Fortunately, chatbots and other customer support automation helped and will continue to in 2021.
Chatbots automate specific tasks and conversations by speaking with a customer or prospect through an easy-to-use interface. They lighten your teams’ workloads by tackling more straightforward conversational functions that are necessary but can eat up time. Advanced customer service automation can offload a large portion of support tickets with a high degree of accuracy. These resources also delight users because more and more people want information as quickly as possible and don’t mind speaking over a chat application.
2020 certainly had a prevailing theme, and it was that a lot of people were at home for a good portion of it. Because of this, more people were also on their phones searching for news and updates from their favorite brands. One of the most common places to find this is generally a company’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.
Brands recognized this too. In fact, social media budgets accounted for 24% of all marketing budgets during the second quarter of 2020. And the momentum kept. There’s tremendous opportunity to ride these coattails and continue engaging and re-engaging with new and existing customers through fun, engaging social media campaigns or advertising.
When the pandemic subsides, businesses with brick and mortar locations will likely want to send as many people as possible back into their stores. Local search engine optimization (SEO) can help. Try:
- Optimizing your “Google My Business Page”
- Including local keywords throughout your website content
- Strengthening your social media presence and including location-specific content
Position Zero, or Google’s featured snippet, should also take precedence in 2021. As humans become more reliant on technology, they expect the best answer as fast as possible. Position Zero has the most relevant information that answers that user’s question without clicking on any link. Some advice on getting a featured snippet includes:
- Figure out what your company can get a snippet for
- Writing out the exact question you’re trying to answer in your website or blog content
- Use lists or tables
- Research related questions and answers – any question can lead to another!
- Create high-quality content that isn’t stuffed with keywords .
Another vital thing to consider when tackling SEO is to remember that people are searching for things differently now. People are asking more questions or phrases rather than just words. They’re also using devices like Alexa or Google Home. Search engines recognize this more nuanced context, meaning, and intent to deliver results, so keep it in mind for 2021.
You still have time to consider implementing any of these essential tactics to your inbound marketing strategy. If you feel like you could use some guidance, reach out to our team today.