In the wise words of Oprah Winfrey: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
2020 was a whirlwind of a year on a personal and business level. Business processes changed, strategies were scratched, and pivots were crucial — but the good news is, we have another chance at a great year.
If 2020 was the year of change, let’s make 2021 the year of growth.
We’ll discuss the new trends in marketing and our predictions for 2021 — plus, how you can adopt these trends to position yourself for growth in 2021.
Prediction #1: Full Lifecycle Marketing Will Be More Important Than Ever
One of the new trends in marketing we’re seeing is the importance of full lifecycle marketing.
Often, businesses make the mistake of focusing on conquering the sale and forget to take care of clients after the sale — but the customer journey doesn’t end there.
Insert full lifecycle marketing; it’s the way of the future.
This doesn’t mean that providing top, middle, and bottom of the funnel strategy is any less important than it has been; it just means you have to focus on all stages equally, even the post-sale.
Offering multiple content types like blog posts, ads, and infographics is necessary to support full lifecycle marketing efforts. All stages of the funnel are created equal and need proper attention.
According to keap, full lifecycle marketing is the process of providing your audience with the type of communications and experiences they want, need, or prefer as they move from prospects to customers — and hopefully on to advocates.
Imagine the typical sales funnel illustration — it has a funnel that includes the top of the funnel (TOFU, also known as the awareness stage), middle of the funnel (MOFU, or consideration stage), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU, or decision stage). In this traditional sales funnel, the decision stage would be where it “ends”, after a prospect makes a purchase; there is no selling or support after the sale.
Related article: The Buyer’s Journey Stages: Types of Content to Create for Each
However in full lifecycle marketing, there is an extra part built onto the end of the funnel. It’s kind of like a mirrored version of the funnel, but not as long. This additional part gives customers support during the retention (or “after-the-sale”) stage.
When you give full lifecycle support to your customers, you’re creating advocates and helping them through all stages of the funnel — and beyond.
Our clients have seen amazing ROI when applying all stages of the funnel to their marketing strategy, including TOFU, MOFU, BOFU, and post-sale stages.
To support all of these stages, our team members worked on increasing customer lifetime value, repeat purchases, product subscription strategies, and loyalty email campaigns for our clients.
We’ve seen clients receive consecutive six-figure sales months after working with our team for five months by implementing full-funnel strategies.
These results came from our understanding of the full lifecycle funnel and our knowledge of how to implement it successfully.
With the first-hand information we’ve seen and the happiness our clients have shared with us, we predict that a focus on full lifecycle marketing will not slow down.
Uhuru predictions for 2021 full lifecycle marketing:
Consider digital marketing partners that can engineer your entire brand experience:
Due to a shift in the e-commerce landscape, we’ve structured our teams to deliver the full lifecycle experience and help brands grow and engineer the right experiences — from the first impression to repeat purchases.
We focus on creating entire brand experiences — from the awareness stage to the post-sale — including website conversion optimization, ad creative, ad campaigns, upsell opportunities, email campaigns, and loyalty campaigns.
Are you interested in learning more about a paid media strategy? Schedule a free paid media assessment here.
Prediction #2: SEO Will Have To Be Highly Optimized To Get Ranked
The second new trend we are seeing in the marketing space is highly-optimized SEO efforts.
In December of 2021, Google released a new broad core algorithm update that threw many companies for a loop — some saw effects worse than the May 2020 update.
This new Google update affects a site’s keyword rankings, including organic loss or gain. From what we’ve seen with this update so far, Google is likely getting better at identifying what a page of content is about and pointing out major subjects within the content — in other words, Google is getting even smarter.
So, what does this Google update really mean for SEO?
It means that it will have to be highly optimized for content to get ranked in 2021.
There are many ways to help optimize your content, and we don’t want to get too technical on you, but to optimize a piece of content, you’ll want to focus on long-tail keywords and answering the questions users have associated with the topic you’re trying to rank. You should also optimize your title and meta tags, plus a slew of other tactics.
The content game is a complex one.
Google is starting to show content they see as reliable and useful, and this update reinforces that.
Another major SEO update we will see — and have been recognizing for years — is voice search growth. Consumers are relying more on smart devices like speakers and watches to pull up search information.
Smart devices and voice search share the first result on the Google search results page. Because of this, the best way to make sure your content is seen is to claim the featured snippet spot.
A featured snippet is what Google deems the most concise and direct answer to a question searched. It shows at the top of the search results page and is set within lines to help it stand out.
Claiming the feature snippet spot is dependent on many variables, including how competitive the keywords you’re going for are, how optimized your content is, and how your backlink profile stands up against competitors.
While winning the featured snippet position is exciting, it can come with complications.
Different browsers and devices turn up different results with voice search. For instance, Alexa and Google tend to generate different results when asked the same question. When users search by typing on a device, the search engines can generate even more results than the two options from Google and Alexa. This leaves many websites in different positions on Google search engine results pages (SERPs) depending on how they’re searched.
One way to ensure your content strategy is optimized, useful, and meeting the new Google demands is by scheduling a free SEO audit with us.
Prediction #3: Remote Work Has Become the New Norm
“Uhuru” means freedom and one of the ways Uhuru practices freedom is by supporting remote work.
Years before the world was forced to go remote due to COVID-19, Uhuru decided to implement a fully remote team to support a healthy work-life balance.
We are one of the world’s fully remote companies and proud of it. We hope that many other companies keep up with this new marketing trend, even after the constraints of the pandemic have lifted.
Both companies and employees reap the benefits of remote work when the proper tools, procedures, and management are in place.
Businesses can reduce costs and overhead, increase productivity, and gain a competitive advantage. On the employee side, they’ll no longer have to commute to an office. They can work in whatever attire they feel most comfortable in and have flexible working hours.
In 2020, businesses had to change the way they function to make working virtually work, and many of them were finally able to see how beneficial it was. We predict that many of these companies will be staying remote in 2021.
Prediction #4: Use Virtual Channels for B2B Outreach
The pandemic pushed even the most resilient businesses to go online, digitalize, and move their sales communications and outreach efforts to virtual channels like email and LinkedIn.
Approaching B2B sales through virtual channels will pandemic-proof your efforts; it’s a more efficient way to reach decision-makers when compared to the long-overdone process of cold calling.
While email outreach can be beneficial, Uhuru’s B2B outreach efforts have dramatically migrated to LinkedIn. Email users and programs regularly strengthen their inbox and spam filters, making it hard to get in touch initially.
But there’s more to a B2B campaign than blindly sending the same copy and pasted messages to decision-makers; it includes a conversational, hyper-personalized strategy.
In 2021 and beyond, we predict there will be more desensitization and only genuine connections will thrive.
We’ve seen a strategic, conversational, and hyper-personalized outreach campaign yield incredible results for our clients.
To get ahead of this trend and your competition, or to see where your B2B outreach efforts are falling short, schedule a free sales assessment.
Prediction #5: A Shift in Healthcare Marketing
One of the industries that COVID-19 most heavily impacted was the healthcare industry.
The use of telehealth and voice search increased exponentially as human-to-human contact needed to be limited or cut altogether.
Companies like Amazon have taught consumers the value of convenience. That notion has gone far beyond the convenience of one app — users everywhere want quick, clear answers and a simple, intuitive user experience.
During and after the pandemic, those in the healthcare industry need a digital presence. Websites must be accessible via organic and paid channels. They must also implement best practices to keep the target audience on the site. It should be easy to fill out forms, gather information, and get in touch with a healthcare provider.
For healthcare providers to stand out in the digital space, they need to provide accessible and convenient digital care that engages and educates customers in all stages of their journey.
Our team of healthcare marketing experts is here to help with your initiatives. Get in touch with them today to schedule a free healthcare marketing consultation.
Prediction #6: Agency Operations
Agency operations required drastic shifts in 2020 to keep up with new trends in marketing and in the world.
The hospitality industry was dramatically impacted by the pandemic. Unfortunately, many in this space had to shut their doors or massively downsize their internal staff. Many shifted toward a contractor workforce, which was a difficult transition for businesses that rely on face-to-face meetings and events.
While many industries were trying to “make things work” until COVID passed, the effects are lasting much longer than anticipated. Executives predict that the hospitality industry may not recover until 2023, which means their shift in operations needs to be efficient if it’ll work for the future.
On the other hand, agencies that serviced direct-to-consumer brands did well during the pandemic. A niche we saw growth in was B2B marketing agencies. This was primarily due to the shift away from trade shows toward the digital space.
An emerging agency model we noticed in 2020? Performance-based marketing.
Performance-based marketing is when a client pays a base retainer (much lower than a standard retainer) and gives a percentage of sales to the agency. The client is still responsible for ad spend. In some cases, the employees are also paid based on the performance of the accounts they manage.
Performance-based marketing is a way to hold both parties accountable and invested.
In 2021, we predict that media buying and ad agencies shift toward a focus on these attribution models.
Scale Your Business in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 shifted the marketing landscape. The need for a strong, well-rounded digital presence is necessary for growth in 2021.
New trends in marketing have emerged and businesses need to shift with these trends.
Assure your business’s future with a free strategy session. Our experts will analyze your digital presence and strategies to see where your efforts can be leveled up to meet your goals in 2021.