Modern Marketing Strategies for 2021 and Beyond

Businesses and brands don’t need to stay on top of every new marketing trend. But, that doesn’t mean your branding can get stagnant either. You should allocate a small percentage of your budget to experiment with other platforms, technologies, and channels where your audience is spending time. 

When does branding come into a business’s marketing strategy?

Many companies get excited to test out all kinds of new strategies, but it’s important to first have a strong foundation. The very first day you’re thinking about strategy, you should also be thinking about branding.  Establishing your branding starts with the basics like your company name, product name, and logos. A mistake we see often is companies jumping to website execution and skipping all the other conversations that should happen at the starting blocks. This can be a detrimental behavior that will be expensive to reconcile.

After you have your brand foundation set, start taking advantage of low hanging fruit: do you have an engaging website? Meaningful blog content to share? An on-brand social media presence? Once you’ve covered the fundamentals, start venturing out with a small percentage of your budget on strategies like the following. 

When should a business start planning and investing in a SEO strategy?

Businesses should think about SEO a lot sooner than they do. While it doesn’t need to be a day one consideration like branding, it shouldn’t wait until after a website is launched. We often see companies are racing to start or “fix” their SEO strategy at the end of a website build, instead of determining a strategy before creating website copy.

When a brand is determining voice and messaging, SEO should be considered for alignment with copy. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’ve created incredible marketing resources, but find out you don’t use any terms your prospects will actually search in Google.

How can businesses use content marketing and video content to stay relevant?

Content marketing and video marketing are two different strategies that have overlaps. With content marketing, it’s important to understand what your customers are searching for and what topics they’re interested in. Create content that educates your audience, helps them overcome their problems, and is relevant to their interests.

Similarly, with video, you can educate your potential customers. Make difficult industry concepts easier to understand or explain your “secret sauce”. If you have a product, do demonstrations or show how it’s made.

How should businesses take advantage of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels?

Platforms like TikTok and Reels can be useful when you’re looking to attract a younger audience. At a bare minimum, you should at least secure your brand name on the platform before someone else takes it. Like other platforms, different companies will need to leverage these channels in different ways.

Instead of utilizing TikTok and Instagram Reels for lead generation and sales, these platforms could be pivotal in establishing a company culture and improving employee engagement.

For companies not looking to sell to or hire younger professionals, these platforms just might not be relevant. Different companies will take advantage of them in different ways. For example, seasoned law firms probably won’t have a relevant need for either channel. However, fitness brands like Gymshark use TikTok to reach a new audience with inspiring content and help build community.

How does technology fit into business strategy?

Technology can (and should) be disruptive. The full potential of technology can only be realized when you use it as a thread between the process, people, and product. Look for existing digital tools you can use internally to communicate and share ideas more effectively.

When it comes to interacting with your audience there’s no end to the tools and techniques you can experiment with. From digitizing a part of your business into your own app to gamifying content to selling a product on Instagram.

How should businesses incorporate diversity in their strategies?

Many companies have an “inclusion strategy” in which they focus on diversifying the types of people they show in their marketing. On one level, showcasing individuals of different backgrounds in your advertising and marketing can be a step in the right direction, but it really doesn’t affect meaningful change within a business. Instead, organizations should aim to foster a more diverse culture throughout their business if they are serious about diversity. This means actively looking to hire people from different backgrounds to supporting causes that reflect the organization’s values. 

What is the number one lesson business owners should take away from the pandemic?

If anything positive came out of this year’s events, businesses have gotten a wake-up call about pivoting very quickly. Today, it’s more obvious than ever how key it is to go through a basic contingency plan. Developing a contingency plan can be as easy as sitting down with the top people at your organization and spending a few hours going through possible scenarios, like:

  • What happens if one of our suppliers can’t deliver?
  • What if the internet goes down for 3 days?
  • What if power is out for a week?

Everyone should bring their thoughts on scenarios and potential solutions. In the meeting, roleplay through different outcomes and discuss the actions your organization would take in each instance. You might not be able to plan for exact scenarios but having an existing playbook ready to go when something does happen puts you in a better position to weather a storm.

Marketing in 2021 and beyond

We recommend making experimentation a part of your marketing plan and to always test a handful of these types of strategies. You don’t need to conquer every new technology platform, every cultural trend, or every media tool. Instead, thoughtfully allocate a small percentage of your budget to experimenting, only after you’ve established your brand’s fundamentals.

If you’re looking for a framework to prioritize how you could integrate these strategies into your brand, or ideas to move your brand forward contact us to start the conversation.

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