COVID has transformed how we work, host events, and conduct business day-to-day. As we move into 2021, there are a few keys trends your business should look out for to help you redefine your marketing strategy and adjust to new online marketing trends in a post-COVID business landscape.
eCommerce will continue to be a crucial part of sales.
Sales have moved towards eCommerce throughout 2020 and are likely to continue to do so into 2021. The pandemic pushed many companies to refine their eCommerce methods and availability while expanding their digital presence. This led to consumers experience the ease and convenience of online shopping, making it an option that will continue to grow in popularity. To stay relevant in these changing times, businesses need to consider making eCommerce options available.
Virtual events are here to stay.
While the pandemic forced events that were already planned to be held online throughout 2020, we can expect to see events planned as virtual from the start in 2021. Virtual events will continue to improve as more tools and services become available to make hosting large online gatherings and conferences easier.
Another reason these virtual events are here to stay, beyond on-going safety concerns, is that many companies have learned that virtual events give them access to a brand-new audience since virtual events are more accessible than in-person gatherings. Factors like cost, travel restrictions, visa issues, etc., are no longer a concern with virtual events. This allows for higher attendance and participation, with a lower cost for people and a higher ROI.
Communication, both internal and external, will remain key and continue to improve.
With many teams working remotely in 2020 and continuing to do so in 2021, communication between co-workers and teams will continue to improve. With remote working, companies have experienced benefits such as shorter meetings and brief and concise communications, allowing everyone to make more efficient use of their time.
Beyond the benefits of communication between co-workers and teams, businesses also need to look at how they can improve their prospect and customer communications. Retaining your current customers is crucial in these difficult times, so this is a good time to reevaluate your communication strategies and find ways to engage with your existing customers.
Pay attention to new competitors online.
The pandemic has changed your competitor landscape. In some cases, certain competitors have disappeared while others have reduced their marketing. Others may have launched new services or products while new competitors may have appeared. When making your post-COVID marketing plan, you will want to conduct a new competitive analysis to help you get a better idea of who your current competitors are so you can tailor your marketing strategy accordingly.
Invest in Organic Traffic and Local SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) allows you to generate a constant stream of organic traffic to your company’s website. SEO can act as an insurance policy if you ever need to suspend or reduce your paid advertising campaigns. Companies who have invested in generating organic traffic prior to COVID and who have continued to invest in SEO during COVID were less likely to experience a drop in online leads and website visitors even if they had to reduce their paid advertising budget.
Leverage Your Customer Database via an Email Marketing Strategy.
The database you have of prospects and customers is an extremely valuable asset and is one that should be leveraged in a post-COVID world. To ensure you are leveraging your customer database properly, be sure to use a marketing automation solution that has a comprehensive Client Relationship Management System (CRM) as well as an email marketing strategy.
You want to go beyond sending a few random emails occasionally. Utilize your database to nurture your relationships by creating an email plan that will leverage automation, sending your clients timely and relevant communications that motivate them to take action and help you meet the goal of generating sales.
Review Paid Advertising Channels Such as AdWords and Facebook.
If you started out the year advertising on channels such as Instagram and YouTube, it is likely that they will remain part of your digital marketing strategy. There are other advertising channels to consider adding to the mix, including Facebook and Google AdWords. If you are already using these channels for advertising, be sure to review your campaigns to see what is working and where you can improve.