We’re almost halfway through the year 2021 and it’s definitely been a tumultuous year for businesses of all sizes and across the globe.
As the world endures wave after wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and many countries are finally getting to grips with their vaccine program, businesses need to focus their attention even more on developing bespoke digital marketing campaigns in order to reach new customers and explore the new potentials and possibilities that will emerge after this global health crisis.
The Emergence Of Digital Marketing
Focusing on digital marketing has been a good idea for businesses now for the last decade, but many small businesses and many service-based businesses still rely on offline, in-person marketing to do a lot of their word-of-mouth advertising for them.
While word-of-mouth marketing is still the best form of free marketing you can get, it’s not reliable and sustainable in the long term, and this pandemic has shown that once you take away face-to-face marketing and sales there needs to a strong alternative.
The Importance Of Improving Your Branding
Building a digital brand for your business is now no longer a process that is reserved for just the bigger businesses; it’s time that businesses of all sizes focused on their branding and digital marketing in order to ensure success across the online landscape.
With the online landscape in mind, here are eight marketing channels that you should be focusing on in 2021 and beyond that will help your business to grow and to reach customers globally—or even just new local customers for your in-person service-based business.
Influencer marketing may have had a bad rep over the last few years, but when done correctly, using influencers to market your product is a great way to advertise your brand to new audiences, as you are leveraging an audience that already exists and that is already warm to the type of product that you are selling.
There are hundreds of ways to get invested with influencer marketing, and a global influencer agency can build your brand and help you to focus on areas that you may not have considered before.
Influencer marketing only works well if it is done correctly, and this is why you should always engage a professional influencer marketing agency so that everyone can be clear on the expectations and costs before any marketing activity is undertaken by the influencer.
Email is still holding on in 2021 as a viable digital marketing channel, but you do need to be aware of the limitations of using email, and just how your audience is using email and email marketing to keep in touch with businesses.
Unless you are a local services-based business, such as a tutoring agency, a beautician, or perhaps a childminding service, using email marketing to keep your customers updated with changes in the form of an electronic newsletter is probably not the best use of your time and budget.
For businesses that are invested in shopping and selling products online, emails that are automated—such as abandoned cart emails and emails to remind customers to log back into their accounts after a long time away from them—are probably a much better use of your time and budget because these are personalized and targeted to your customers with a direct purpose in mind.
A Wider And Varied Social Media Approach
The social media landscape is changing, and quite a few businesses are assuming that social media marketing is coming to the end of its heyday.
While this may be true for some businesses, in other instances, social media marketing is still incredibly popular, and companies should be invested in social media marketing to ensure the longevity of their brand.
What most businesses don’t do well with social media marketing is to diversify their message to the suited audience. Twitter, for example, is a greater social network for customer service, whereas Instagram is a great social network to show off new products and to engage with influencers.
Using your social media accounts properly will help you to yield results from them faster and more effectively.
The humble podcast has had a huge resurgence in the last few years, with thousands of people a week joining podcasts and listening to them on their daily commute or daily exercise.
Big podcasters such as Joe Rogan bring in millions and millions of listeners to their show every week and this presents a great marketing opportunity for businesses who have the budget.
Just as sponsoring radio shows was a popular option back in the day, these days, sponsoring a podcast is a great way to get your brand out there and in front of a better-targeted audience than radio sponsorship ever could have done.
As well as sponsoring podcasts, you may also wish to consider sponsoring YouTube channels.
YouTube sponsorship is big money and companies such as Squarespace and The Great Courses Plus are regular sponsors to all kinds of channels, from political right through to alternative living options, and even medical channels!
Decide on the type of channel that you would like to be associated with, and then find big channels and influencers who will be happy to work with you.
Just as with influencers over social media, working with an agency to ensure that both you and your YouTube influencer know where you stand is a good idea, and there should be contracts in place so that everyone understands what is expected and in what time frame.
Your Own YouTube Account
Sponsoring YouTubers is a great idea, but have you ever considered actually building your own YouTube presence and using this as a proper marketing channel?
There are billions of hours of content on YouTube, and more are uploaded every single day.
The reach for YouTube even outweighs traditional media such as TV and radio, and it is common now for people of all ages to have their favorite YouTuber that they follow—just as they used to have their favorite TV show.
This presents a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to truly invest in video marketing and use YouTube as a channel for self-promotion and education.
Whatever your business’s line of work, it’s likely that a well-executed YouTube strategy would work for you.
There are YouTube channels dedicated to practically every topic under the sun including photography, marketing, plumbing, and history—there is even a popular YouTube channel run by a professional mortician, who discusses topics related to death and what happens to bodies in a funeral home!
The only barrier to entry for YouTube marketing is that you will need to invest in a good personality to front your channel. However, this is the reason that most businesses avoid YouTube, which means there is a great opportunity if you are willing to take it.
Facebook has had a bit of an odd reputation over the last few years, especially since its famous 2018 algorithm update which removed business pages from most people’s feeds.
After this change, many businesses moved away from using Facebook pages as a means to advertise, because there was no point in creating content for a channel that was getting little to no interaction or engagement.
However, one area of Facebook (besides paying for ads) that is still incredibly lucrative—especially for local businesses—is that of Facebook groups. Facebook groups are largely not monitored by Facebook, although they are moderated for content that goes against Facebook’s own community standards by Facebook moderators. Groups are largely run by individuals and can be a great place to advertise your business.
Advertising in groups works brilliantly for local and service-based businesses because they can take advantage of local community groups, and advertise towards an audience who live in the area and may be interested in your product or services.
Some groups may allow pages to join the group and get involved in the discussion, and if you have found a local group that allows this then it’s worth trying to give back to your community, rather than just advertising to the community.
There are plenty of local business groups, but you will soon find out that these groups get very little engagement so it’s best to aim for community groups; be sure not to overdo it with your advertising, though—you don’t want to appear desperate.
Just a quick mention on the bottom of this list because many businesses still don’t invest in SEO properly.
SEO (search engine optimization) is still the most effective method for advertising any business on the internet. The theory behind this is that when somebody needs an answer to a question or they just want to buy a product, they will generally Google it first!
If you can show that your business is trustworthy and authoritative in your niche, and create great content that Google can index and show to its users, then your SEO strategy will be on fire and already better than most of your competition!