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How to Improve Your Marketing in 2021


You probably entered 2020 with high aspirations around your company’s marketing. You had big plans for social media and getting your email marketing back on track. 

This was going to be your year.

Then history happened and all of your grand plans went out the proverbial window.

And that’s OK—because 2020 happened to everyone. All companies big and small, and across industries, had to figure out how to adapt during the past year.

Now that 2020 is almost over and we’re still uncertain about the future, how do we plan for marketing in 2021? What does the next year look like? And how do we create an intentionally flexible strategy that can adjust to whatever the next 365 days look like?

1. Revisit your messaging

Online marketing was already oversaturated. But 2020 turned that problem up to 11—with online events, online classrooms, Zoom fatigue, and everything in between.

That means you need to be especially focused on what your business is trying to say, and the audience you’re trying to reach with this message. Otherwise, you’ll be lost in the noise.

Starting all marketing campaigns with a clear and consistent message helps you stand out. Find a target audience. Understand the problem you’re helping them to solve. And then show them how your business makes their life easier.

At GreenMellen, we use frameworks like StoryBrand to help our clients to maximize their message. We prefer to do this before starting on a website or marketing project to make sure we’re on the same page. So if you need help with your messaging strategy, feel free to reach out.

2. Get back to basics

It’s tempting to get sucked into the most cutting-edge and innovative marketing platforms and trends. Does your business have a TikTok account yet? Is it time for you to jump on board with virtual reality yet?

Avoid the shiny object syndrome and stick with more basic platforms that are more effective for your business. Stuff like email marketing and blogging may seem old and outdated these days, but they still work.

Depending on your goals and budget, you can find a few tried-and-true marketing strategies that will work for your business. Grow these sustainably, and then maybe you can start looking into more complicated tactics—like artificial intelligence or self-flying drones.

Best of all, if you need help getting started with these digital marketing practices, GreenMellen can help find the right solution for you.

3. Build a marketing funnel

If you’re not a digital marketing professional, you might not know what a marketing funnel is. Or maybe you know exactly what one is, but you’ve never gotten around to building one for your company. Now is always the best time to get started.

A marketing funnel is essentially the connective strategy that pulls together the various marketing platforms and elements. The goal is to move people from awareness to interest and finally towards purchasing your product or service.

The goal is to make sure all of your efforts are coordinated and driving the right people toward the right action. Parts of a funnel can be automated and reviewed regularly to see what’s working and what isn’t.

For example: a potential customer finds a link to your recent blog post someone else shared on Facebook. They click the link and skim the article. They’re interested in learning more, so they download the free ebook you wrote on the same subject, which you mentioned in the post. In exchange for the download, they give you their email address. This gives you the opportunity to share an automated email campaign telling them all about how your business meets their needs. After getting three of these emails, they finally decide to pay for your monthly service.

It’s not complicated to understand, but it does take time to create. It may take you all of 2021 to get a robust marketing funnel created. But the longer you put it off, the longer you’ll have ineffective and unclear marketing.

4. Stay educated

One silver lining of 2020 (at least for some of us) has been no more commute into the office. We’ve suddenly gotten a little bit of each day back instead of sitting in traffic. Add to that the fact that so many conferences and classes are going online means that this is a great time to learn more.

Look ahead to 2021 and pick out a few conferences you might want to attend. Who knows if they’ll be in person or online—but it never hurts to plan ahead. If they’re still online, you’ll probably save time and money on travel.

There may even be some online courses or marketing certifications that you could obtain during 2021. HubSpot has several great free courses and you can also earn a social media certificate from Hootsuite. Google Digital Garage also has some free resources to check out.

Continuous learning is also one of GreenMellen’s core values. Through our A Brighter Web initiative, we have an archive online tutorials to help you learn more about digital marketing and technology trends.

5. Audit your online presence

Digital marketing has long been important, but 2020 made it more imperative than ever. Your business needs a strong online presence to continue to thrive.

Perhaps it’s time for you to do a health checkup on the status of your online platforms, especially your website. Is all of the information up-to-date and accurate? Does the content and design still reflect your brand and culture? And is the website performing up to standards?

Too many organizations get completely caught up in working in the business and forget to actually work on the business. That’s something we can relate to at GreenMellen. We took the time to finally launch our new company website back in August (we started this project in 2018…).

If you realize that your online presence badly needs an update, we can help. GreenMellen offers ongoing website maintenance to keep your site running smoothly and securely. Don’t leave your most important online platform to chance when 2021 comes around.

How GreenMellen can help you grow in 2021

Those are just a few things (among many) that you should keep in mind as you prepare for marketing in 2021. Who knows how things will continue to change in the new year. The best we can do is plan ahead and stay flexible as interesting new things happen.If you’re ready to get started on planning for next year, our team would love to help. Reach out to us to start a conversation on how we can best serve your marketing needs—whether that’s building out a fully-fledged marketing plan or just making updates to your website.

About the Author

Robert Carnes

Marketing Manager

Robert Carnes is a freelance writer, published author, and professional marketer. His book, The Story Cycle, is your business's guide to becoming a better marketer. Robert lives in Atlanta and you can follow him on social media @jamrobcar.

View Robert's Profile

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