The world of marketing is constantly changing. It can be impacted by an endless amount of things, some of which include the state of the economy, the seasons, global issues, and more. While it can be tough to predict what marketing hurdles will form next, there is potential to look at what we are experiencing in the here and now to decide where to shift the focus in the upcoming months.
In 2020, we were faced with a global pandemic, racial injustice, an election, and a myriad of issues that are still playing out today. Looking back on what we have seen when it comes to marketing in the past few months, we can get a leg up on what to expect in 2021 and beyond.
Here are 3 things that businesses can focus on at the start of 2021, based on the latest research and our experiences throughout 2020.
3 Things Marketers Should Focus on in 2021
1. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great prong of marketing to utilize because emails can be tailored to your target audience and designed with customers’ objectives in mind. It is also effective and affordable, and can deliver one of the highest rates of ROI out of all marketing channels—some companies can receive as much as $42 in return for every dollar spent.
Historically, there were specific days of the week and hours within those days that were the best times to send marketing emails. However, with the vast majority of workers now working from home, people are opening emails on every day of the week, and at all hours of the day. People are constantly plugged in (which can be both good and bad), and email marketing offers your audience the opportunity to decide when they want to open and engage with your message. It’s a way that you can meet them where they’re at. It also allows you to craft custom messaging that appeals to what your audience is really looking for.
Email marketing provides a great opportunity to test out what types of messaging receive the most engagement, which dates and times garner the best open and click rates, and if there’s a certain segment of a list that performs better than the other. There’s a lot of flexibility when it comes to email marketing, and in this moment, flexibility is key for all of us.
2. Your Website
At the beginning of 2020, searches for “buy online” sat at around 15k. In March, these searches skyrocketed globally, reaching up to 27k+ searches per month. This means that people are searching online for what they need, and it is highly likely that they will continue to do so in the upcoming year.
The user experience is more important than ever before as more people are turning to online resources for shopping, contacting businesses, and finding information.
Make your website as helpful and informative as possible by ensuring that it is easy for users to accomplish their goals with as little turbulence as possible. This might look like adding a chatbot, moving a form so it is easy to find on your website, expanding your FAQ page, or increasing the amount of information available on your product or service pages.
Keeping your website design streamlined and modern can also aid users in finding the information they are looking for. Having a site that is quick to load, easy to navigate, and meets the modern accessibility standards helps all users have a positive experience while interacting with your website.
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO strategy has changed over the years. It has evolved from keyword-focused writing to a multi-pronged approach that involves having compelling content, good user experience, including titles and descriptions, and more. There are so many aspects of SEO that even a few tweaks can increase your site's ranking and competitiveness on search engines.
Search engines crawl a website to see if it is a good match for a user’s search query. Improving the SEO of your website means that it is more likely to show up higher in the search results when someone searches for something that is relevant to the information on your site. The easier you make it for search engines to review the site, the more likely it is that your website will show up in the search results when someone is looking for something that you can offer.
Search engines like Google are pushing the boundaries of SEO, and utilizing new capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI) for SEO purposes forcing SEO strategies to be more focused on the human aspects of search. Historic technical approaches are becoming a waste of time, and keyword research tools only provide historical data. Prioritizing content creativity, optimizing content, and seeking out real-time sources of trends in consumer behavior are all practices that can help improve the SEO of your website.
Some other ways to improve your SEO based on the latest predictions for 2021 include:
- optimizing for voice search,
- improving your mobile site because of mobile-first indexing,
- creating content that makes you stand out as a reputable source,
- optimize images and include video, and
- focusing on secondary keywords and language relating to your primary keywords because of semantic search.
Of course, there are many other aspects of marketing in which you may identify opportunities for improvement, but if you aren’t sure where to start, then email marketing, your website, and SEO could be great areas to audit first.