Last year, words like contactless payment/delivery, virtual events, and pandemic were a far-off concept. Now, we attend conferences, school, and museums from our couch. At the same time, the social and political landscape in our country has gone through a dramatic shift. With the world evolving so quickly, your digital marketing must reflect that. 

Taking all of that into account, even when the world returns to the “new normal,” it doesn’t mean our marketing strategies should. What trends for 2021 do you need to leverage to create success?

Rethink Virtual Events

When the pandemic hit, businesses went into a panic pivot mode. Conferences, seminars, and events were transferred online without much variation aside from location. 

Over time, however, we learned how much opportunity virtual events can offer. Nowadays, virtual events are an excellent way to connect and network. The ability to have remote attendees can widen your network and provide new opportunities to reach your audience.

Moving forward, focus your events online to form new communities. Hold pre- and post-event panel discussions around important topics. Use social media not only to advertise your event, but also to interact with its community. Create polls to address which topics should be discussed. Have speakers and event committee members do live feeds to discuss the event or why one of the topics excites them. Create a pre-event buzz that will enthuse attendees and post-event chatter that will keep your community discussing topics for a while.

Interactive Content

With most people home more during the pandemic, interactive content has become more popular. Viewership on live streams like Facebook live, Twitch, and Tik Tok have gone up in the past year. Use this to your advantage in 2021. Do a live feed answering FAQs, giving a how-to about one of your products, or introducing members of staff. Utilize the ability to create online polls or quizzes to interact with your audience and gain insightful information. Static content will inform your audience, but interactive content will make them remember you.

Brands with Purpose

Consumers want a brand that stands for something and are more willing to spend their money on companies that align with their beliefs. It’s not enough to just say “Black Lives Matter”; people want to see that you stand behind your words and have an inclusive and equitable culture at your company. They want you to support climate change and see that your company is moving towards a sustainable future. Purpose-driven missions are helping consumers choose goods and services with their conscience and their wallet. Figure out your company’s goodwill mission and celebrate it with your clients.

Social Media to Engage and Retain Customers

Social media is one of the most dependable ways for consumers to get up-to-date information on your company. Be transparent and let them know when changes are happening at your business and anything that will impact your relationship. Use social media as an opportunity to introduce them to the other sides of your company like your community outreach, your employees, or company life, allowing for a quick “peek behind the curtain”. Users will feel more connected to your business, and more loyal as a result.

Use Content to Spark Conversation and Create Relationships

Content going forward should encourage conversation and connection. Explain current questions from customers, answer FAQs, and read the comments sections on your social sites for ideas. Ask your employees for content suggestions. No one knows your business, products, and customers better than they do. Spark conversations by posting a question online. Audience response can always get a great conversation going. And don’t hesitate to write about industry topics rather than just your specific business. This will encourage others in your industry to jump into the discussion.  

Cross-channel Integration

This way of marketing focuses all your channels on one message. Instead of a consumer getting fragmented pieces about why your company is great across various channels, they will receive a unified message. For example, a potential client reads a blog post about how your company solves a certain issue. Later, they receive an email with a testimonial about how your company was helpful and fantastic in resolving this issue for them. When they go onto social media, they see a post or an ad about how your business eliminates the same problem.  The potential client gets the reinforcement they need to convert instead of piecemeal advertising. Cross-channel integration takes more planning, but it is definitely worth it.

User Generated Content (USG)

This is one of the most reliable ways to bring new customers in. Are people going to buy from you because your company said you’re a great company or because someone they respect loves your product? Do your homework before slapping a hashtag on your social platform and try to get a movement going. Who are they people that will most likely be posting about your product or service? Look up similar companies and see what their users post. Identify consumer trends and create a hashtag strategy. 

Encourage others to post using your hashtag. Start with your employees if they are willing. Hang signs that inspire hashtag use (i.e. If you’re Instagramming breakfast, don’t forget to tell them it was #Cafe51derful), create an online event to launch, or launch a small giveaway campaign to generate USG.

Static content without effort toward connection and engagement, a brand without purpose, and the ‘old way’ of marketing will drive your clients to competitors. Use these trends to launch your 2021 marketing strategy and grow your success. If you’re uncertain where to start with your marketing strategy, let help. 

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