The New Year is almost upon us, which means you might have started to think about which personal goals you’re going to set yourself for 2021. And, when you’re a business owner or marketer, it’s also worth thinking about how you’re going to up your game and make more sales in the next 12 months.
Digital marketing became more important than ever in 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic forced most of us to stay home for weeks on end, meaning we had to do most of our shopping online. As a result, the online world has become increasingly competitive — a lot of companies have had to pivot to survive, which means many who previously didn’t have an online presence now do.
And, according to the British Retail Consortium, now that more people have discovered the convenience of shopping online, they’re likely to continue spending a lot of money on ecommerce sites. So, now is the perfect time to ramp up your digital marketing efforts.
Here, we’re going to outline five digital marketing New Year’s resolutions worth making this January. They’ll help you supercharge your strategies and ensure you make as many sales as possible over the coming months.
1. Stay flexible
A lot of business owners and marketers will have started 2020 with a plan, only for the coronavirus pandemic to hit, changing the landscape completely. As we mentioned in our blog post about how Covid-19 will affect digital marketing in the long run, this forced companies to completely change tack at a moment’s notice in order to survive. And, while constantly adapting to new restrictions and finding ways to navigate these unprecedented times has certainly been very stressful for many, it’s also been a huge learning experience and a reminder of how important it is to stay flexible.
Hopefully, 2021 will be far less tumultuous, but you should still take the lessons you’ve learned into the New Year with you. There’s nothing wrong with making a plan in January, but you should always be willing to tweak this if you learn about a new technique, come up against some challenges you’ve never encountered before, or hear about a tool that could help you to reach your goals. Even when we aren’t dealing with a worldwide pandemic, the digital marketing industry is fast-paced and evolving all of the time. So, you need to stay flexible.
2. Make local SEO a priority
If your business has any physical locations, local SEO should be a top priority. Due to coronavirus restrictions and the financial impact the pandemic has had on smaller businesses, people have been making a real effort to shop small and local in 2020. And this is very likely to continue into 2021. So, if you aren’t already making an effort to supercharge your local SEO strategy, it’s about time you did.
Local SEO is all about ensuring people in the area can easily find your business when they’re looking for the products or services that you offer. We have a guide to competing on the high street with local SEO, which will take you through the main steps you’ll need to take to get ahead of the pack. It covers optimising your Google My Business listing, creating local content, building local links, and ensuring all of your basic details, such as your address and phone number, are easy to find and consistent across all platforms. Encouraging your customers to leave reviews could also help to get more people through your door.
3. Make a point of responding to queries as quickly as possible
Whether you’re a Marketing Manager or business owner, you’ll wear a lot of different hats, and you might not always get around to completing certain tasks as quickly as you would like to. This means you need to think long and hard about what you’re going to prioritise and what can wait.
In 2021, one thing that should pay off is responding to customer queries as quickly as possible.
In our guide to building customer loyalty, we talk about the importance of offering a multi-channel customer service system so people can always contact you in a way that suits them. Most businesses will already encourage people to get in touch with a phone call or email, but adding an instant messaging option to your website and responding to queries through social media can also be very helpful. Google has even introduced a new local messaging feature so customers can instant-message you through your Google My Business listing if you have a bricks-and-mortar store.
It’s not enough to just offer these options, though: you also need to ensure that queries are dealt with in a timely manner and that you manage customers’ expectations by making it clear how long it’s likely to take you to respond. SuperOffice conducted a survey that found 88% of consumers expect an answer from businesses within 60 minutes, while 30% expect a response in 15 minutes or less. However, companies take an average of 12 hours and 10 minutes to get back to their customers’ messages. As a result, answering questions and concerns as quickly as possible could really help you to stand out.
4. Create more interactive content
There’s so much content available online that it can be really difficult to stand out. In 2021, the key to grabbing people’s attention and keeping it will be interactive content. Now more than ever, people are looking to be entertained in the comfort of their own homes. When it comes to keeping ourselves occupied and being able to interact with people, our options have been very limited throughout 2020, which is why interactive content has become so appealing.
Most of us will have spent far too much time aimlessly scrolling on our phones this year, looking for something to do or share. So, content that can be personalised, participated with, or sent on to your friends as a conversation-starter has become critical. Depending on the type of business you have, there are various types of interactive content you could create, including calculators, quizzes, games, surveys, live chats, and interactive data visualisations. If you have limited time and resources, even something as simple as hosting polls on your Instagram story can help your customers to feel involved and heard.
5. Shout about your brand values
I’m sure you’ll agree that 2020 has really shown us all what’s important, and people have generally become more mindful of how and where they’re spending their money. So, it’s important that you ensure your brand has strong core values and that everyone knows about them.
According to Accenture, people have become increasingly concerned about how companies are contributing to societal, economic, and environmental progress this year. Many businesses have received a lot of criticism for how they’ve treated their staff, handled their responsibilities, and communicated with their customers during this difficult time. This means, if you’re proud of how you’ve handled this crisis, or you have always tried to make a difference with your work, shouting about it could really help you to stand out from the crowd.
If you focus on sustainability, do a lot of charity work, or always go above and beyond to help your customers out, make sure people know about it. The past year has been a very dark one for a lot of us, so positive news stories or initiatives are rightfully getting a lot of attention. If you’re doing good with your businesses, tying this into your digital marketing strategies for 2021 is a great idea.
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you want to tweak your digital marketing goals and strategies for 2021. With these resolutions in mind, you’ll be sure to get off to a good start.
If you would like help with making next year your most successful yet, our SEO, PPC, and affiliate marketing experts are also on hand to help you improve your online visibility and increase your sales. Get in touch today if you would like to discuss your plans and learn more about how we can support you in reaching your goals.