While 2020 made marketing a bit more difficult—given the unexpected need to adapt to the pandemic and the changes it had on the economy and consumer behavior—that doesn’t mean those feelings of uncertainty need to follow your company into 2021.
In the last quarter of 2020, it is time to start planning how you’ll take your business to the next level with a record year of sales.
But before you get started, read up on marketing trends that are predicted for 2021, so you can be on the cutting edge, keeping up with the competition, and achieving your customer acquisition and sales goals.
We’ve summarized five marketing tactics that are on the rise for 2021 to give you a starting point for what to incorporate into your marketing strategy. From taking advantage of new social media features to the type of content users engage with, these tips can help you create an effective and forward-thinking plan.
1. Interactive Content
One of the biggest trends in web design is interactive content and it also applies to marketing. You may be asking yourself, what is interactive content?
Interactive content qualifies as any type of content that users can engage with, from calculators, quizzes, infographics, and videos. Interactive content seeks to engage users instead of having them passively consume your content.
One way you can introduce interactive content in your marketing strategy is through social media posting. Videos, infographics, and blog posts with these interactive features make for highly shareable content and encourage users to engage with the content.
The great thing about this type of content is that it is easy to reuse, whether you focus on different aspects, screengrab from certain sections, pull quotes, etc. Having high-quality interactive content that you can integrate into your marketing is essential as consumers crave more engaging and useful content from brands.
While building out a piece of interactive content may seem like a big undertaking, the rewards you will reap far outweigh the initial cost. Take the time to invest in good pieces of interactive content and research on how to best use it to your advantage to get the best return on your investment.
Using testimonials in marketing efforts is nothing new, but this tactic continues to gain relevance as consumers lose faith in brands and put more and more of their trust in their peers. We’ve seen this with the rise and prevalence of social media influencers.
Using testimonials and reviews as part of your marketing strategy is a powerful move that can only benefit you.
Testimonials are essentially the online equivalent to a word of mouth marketing and they carry significant weight when it comes to users deciding whether or not to do business with your brand. Not only are reviews important to your customers, many studies suggest that search engines also take reviews and testimonials into account when deciding how to rank your site in the search engine.
In addition to the benefits listed so far, it is also worth considering that testimonials can be an aesthetic addition to your site, especially if you are struggling to build out a content-rich but visually pleasing homepage.
Some of the ways this is implemented is by sharing testimonials on your website and social media, quoting customers in advertising, or having a review section under every product.
Example from 1Dental of how you can use testimonials:
3. Shoppable Posts
If you are an eCommerce business, the main reason you’re posting on social media or creating content is to get people to shop with your brand, right? So, why not make it as easy as possible to make that happen.
One of the best recent social media innovations for eCommerce companies is the addition of shoppable posts. With this feature, you are able to add tags to the post that allow the customer to make a direct purchase.
The best part is that these tags are discreet but recognizable, encouraging shopping behavior without taking away from the aesthetics of your page or coming off as aggressive.
You can also make your content on your blog shoppable. While you want to give the user what they came for first—the answer to their query—you can transition them into a customer by presenting your product or service as the solution.
Taking this to the next step, you can link a few relevant products at the bottom, making their shopping experience as easy as possible. Not only have you given them the information they were looking for, but you’ve now solved their problem. This is the kind of value that keeps customers coming back.
Customers want instant gratification and one way to deliver that to them—while making it easy for your business to cash-in on a prime sales opportunity—is to make all (or most) of your posts shoppable. Just make sure you’ve implemented the right settings to ensure your customers’ online purchases are secure.
Example of a shoppable post on social media:
Source: NYX Cosmetics Instagram
Example from Objective Wellness of a shoppable blog post:
Source: Objective’s “The Journal” Blog
While the app has been the focus of quite a bit of controversy throughout 2020, it is also a powerful tool for targeting Gen Z consumers (and even many Millenials). Despite the rumors that it’s going to be banned from the U.S., there is a lot of doubt that will actually happen.
So, when you are drafting up your marketing plan for 2021, it may be wise to include TikTok. The app rakes in over 1,000,000 views per day and has over 800 million active users worldwide according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
There are a few different ways to go about marketing on TikTok: paid ads, influencer marketing, or creating a brand channel. While the first seems the easiest and most straightforward, you run the risk of irritating users with blatant advertising that interrupts their scrolling.
Creating a brand channel gives you the opportunity to create your own content and focus on your products, but you should also ensure that it is relevant to your audience and provides value to them.
Influencer marketing by creating relationships with TikTok influencers is generally considered the most authentic way to reach consumers, but it can be costly.
5. Customized Experiences
Customers increasingly want brands to provide them with a personalized experience that is tailored to their habits and preferences.
Not only does customized marketing content make the experience more pleasant and relevant to the shopper, but it also makes them feel special in a way. After all, customers want to feel like they are valued by a business, and this is an easy way to fulfill that need.
Personalized content isn’t anything new. It has been used in email marketing and other initiatives before. However, this is more than just changing the name, location, and other small details to direct messaging to a specific customer.
This takes it a step further by making recommendations based on their shopping habits, reminding them of previous items of interest they never purchased, or adjusting how your website or app is presented to each visitor.
This is accomplished by collecting personal data and establishing systems that analyze and remember that data so that the personalization is automated for each unique customer or visitor.
Get Started on Your 2021 Marketing Plan
Incorporating several or all of these marketing tactics into your 2021 marketing plan is a smart move that can help you continue to grow your business. Of course, every business is different, so how you will implement these tactics should be carefully considered.
When creating your marketing plan, think about how each of these tactics will resonate with your core audience, fit into your current marketing initiatives, and can be utilized without over-inflating your budget.
With some careful planning, you can find creative ways to make these trends work in your favor and make accomplishing your goals that much easier.
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Alexis Maness has a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and is a contributing editor for 365businesstips.com. As a professional content writer, she has over five years of experience and is a contributing writer for several San Diego magazines. Alexis specializes in topics related to business, marketing, finance, and hospitality, and tourism.