What Your Marketing Team Should Be Doing Now to Prepare for 2021

As 2021 approaches, marketing departments need to prepare their plans accordingly. At the same time, marketers should maintain flexibility as they navigate the uncertainties arising as the pandemic continues. 

To ensure your marketing department can handle any situation, you will need to integrate everything from content strategy to social media marketing to develop a unified messaging strategy. If you go into 2021 without a solid marketing plan in place and a team that's fully on board, you could quickly find your business falling behind.

The following are some considerations to help you get ready for the new year.

Content Strategy

According to HubSpot's recent Not Another State of Marketing Report, nearly 70 percent of businesses are currently invested in content marketing this year. So, if you're not doing what you can to develop and maintain a good strategy, your business is likely suffering.

Some of the steps involved in creating a good content strategy involve:

Defining the Company's Goals

You need to know what you want to achieve with your content marketing plan before developing it. Without clear goals, you won't know how to approach your content strategy.

Researching Your Audience

Define the specific audience you want to target. In the process, you'll develop a buyer persona. As you get to know your audience, you’ll create more relevant content that your prospective customers will find valuable.

Conducting a Content Audit

A content audit can help you determine which pieces of content are worth creating and curating. An audit will review your current efforts and help you improve upon them to develop an even better campaign.

Further Considerations

As your business develops and you begin to reach new audiences and require more content, you'll need to adapt. You may need to redefine your goals, create new buyer personas, conduct regular audits, and brainstorm new content ideas.

Marketing Strategy

In addition to a content strategy, you'll need an effective marketing strategy that dominates the relevant marketing channels. This approach entails:

Advertising

Consider which channels you can use for ads such as pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and digital retargeting. If you want to remain competitive when it comes to advertising, you'll need to familiarize yourself with new technologies. Over-the-top (OTT) advertising and geofencing are already gaining in importance. They'll be even more integral next year. If you want to maximize conversions, you'll also need a retargeting strategy that keeps your audiences engaged online.

Campaigns

To complement your advertising, you'll also need to plan out separate campaigns. Not only will you need to plan your campaigns, but you'll also need to plan the marketing tactics that comprise each campaign. Campaigns should each begin with a goal in mind or else it can be hard to tell whether you succeeded.

Marketing Funnel

You will need to build out your marketing funnel by mapping touchpoints to the consumer journey. This process will entail looking at where you might be losing prospects along your current funnel and patching up those holes. Taking the time to build a leak-free sales funnel will drastically increase conversions and maintain your marketing strategy's efficiency.

Positioning

How do you position your company compared to competitors? This process will involve performing market and competitive research to determine what you're up against. Then, you’ll know the best way to approach your marketing efforts.

One way to gauge positioning is to conduct an informal survey of consumers. In-depth and varied responses could help you build an understanding of what messages will resonate with audiences in 2021. Surveying the competition’s content and advertising will reveal where they believe their relative strengths lay.

Social Media Marketing

When marketing on social media, you should have content planned months ahead of publishing. You should have posts lined up based on a content schedule. Identify which social media channel(s) should be your focus. One portion of your audience might hang out on one channel while another chunk of your audience spends their time elsewhere.

Video Marketing

According to Cisco, online videos will account for 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2022. Don't underestimate mobile video’s power, either; Insivia found that mobile video consumption increases 100 percent every year.

When developing a video marketing strategy, you will need to know how you will produce video content. For instance, are you going to produce video in-house? If not, to whom do you want to outsource video production: an individual videographer or an agency? 

If you already outsource video production, you should consider what else you might want to outsource to ease your in-house workload.

Consider Adding Capacity

If you want to handle all of what 2021 will bring, you may need to increase your marketing department's capabilities. The most cost-effective way to do this is to supplement your existing marketing department with a marketing agency. Adding more capacity to your company can improve the efficacy of your marketing efforts while relieving some of the burden placed on existing staff.

Work with a Reliable Marketing Agency to Stay Prepared

It's difficult enough to prepare for a new marketing year, but 2021 will bring unforeseen challenges and opportunities. However, with the right team behind you, you can still win the year and come out even stronger in 2021.

If you want to be sufficiently prepared for any situation, you will need to equip your team with the right resources. Adding capacity will help you deal with changes that are certain to occur along with any unexpected changes that could take place over the course of next year.

The right agency will provide access to a team of in-house specialists, including marketers, videographers, and graphic designers. Otherwise, you will still outsource tasks such as video, but you'll be without the added guidance from a trusted partner with the technologies that can produce the strong ROI you would get with an all-inclusive agency.

Working with an agency you can trust will also help you get a head-start on the competition. Many of your competitors are likely depending solely on their own marketing departments' knowledge of tech such as OTT. You don't have to worry about learning the various technologies or the many tools if you partner with the right agency.

Ultimately, having an agency by your side can mean the difference between succeeding and struggling as you prepare for a new marketing year. 2021 may appear uncertain, but you don't have to go in blind when you have an experienced marketing partner that will help you navigate and conquer the competition.

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