5 min read –
As we draw towards the end of what has been, for most businesses, a fairly tumultuous year let’s take a moment to reflect on the year and also look forward to 2021, with hopefully new opportunities for all.
2020 has been the year when digital and content marketing cemented itself into the psyche of every business. With restrictions on face-to-face interaction, the cancellation of all trade shows and an unprecedented period of downtime for many, there was a massive requirement for businesses to reach and engage with their audiences in a different way i.e. online, using websites, podcasts, webinars, email and social media.
It was not just the way in which we communicated though, but also how we did it that’s changed. There has been a real surge towards marketing your business differently, using techniques such as ABM (Account Based Marketing), personalisation and digitisation. Your content (what you say and how you say it) needs to be memorable, unique and resonate with your audience.
B2B marketing is a challenge! We know your average buyer is going to need a lot of persuasion to move from an initial lead to a genuine purchase and so you need to understand where on the buying journey they are and adapt your marketing accordingly. It’s become increasingly clear that the modern marketer needs to leverage the marketing channels that best suit your customer and always create engaging and memorable digital content.
So what do you need to be doing right now in preparation for 2021?
Let’s start with your overall marketing strategy. Now would be a good time to review your marketing objectives and ascertain whether they are still in line with your overall business goals. Have your target markets shifted or perhaps one or two have taken predominance? Updating your strategy for 2021 helps to focus your thoughts and is an opportunity to check the whole team is on the same page with regard to your marketing plans.
Content marketing will be the key to your activities next year and whilst you need to leave room for opportunities that will crop up during the year, you also need planned campaigns that you can schedule in advance, to make sure you cover all your key messages. So it’s worth identifying some of the main topics you will want to cover and sketching out a plan for the year.
Video continues to be one, if not the most, important tools for you to be using to engage with your audience. An introduction video to your business can be supported by a series of product or service videos, or why not use video to communicate to your teams, especially as many companies have staff working at home. Case study videos are powerful testament to the work you do, with third party endorsements. Video content has the capability to engage like no other content, so now is the time to start planning what videos your business is going to need as we emerge into a bright new world, post Covid.
Your website is your window to a world of possibilities and new customers. Remember, it is the first thing a new contact will look at, so it has to reflect your brand and your business. Are you paying enough attention to the key messages your website communicates to a viewer? Does it create the sort of impression you would want to create if a new customer came to visit you? It is definitely worth taking some time to look at your site and ask yourself “If I was looking for a supplier of XX, would this website give me the confidence to take the next step and pick up the phone?”
Your brand is your calling card, and like your website, it reflects your business. A logo might seem insignificant, but it can make a powerful statement about your business, and is often the first piece of marketing a prospective customer will see. But a brand is not just your logo; it’s the glue that binds your entire marketing activities, from exhibition stands to letterheads. Does your brand compete with your competitors brands, or is it time to update and modernise in line with what your customers are expecting and looking for.
Finally, year-end is always a good time to review your social media presence. Check through your key channels (probably LinkedIn and Twitter, maybe Instagram and Facebook) and review your content. Are the messages you are posting the right ones for your business. As with your content planning, identify your key messages for 2021 and schedule some campaigns that can be run on social media in amongst your other activity.
For many of us, our business world is significantly different now than it was at the start of 2020, and your marketing is no different. Make sure you take the opportunity now to plan for next year, so you can hit the ground running.