27th November 2020

Is your digital marketing agency down with next year’s strategy?

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COVID-19 and your 2021 digital marketing strategy

As a digital marketing agency, it would be remiss of us not to share our thoughts, not just on the vision of 2020 that none of us foresaw, but more importantly looking ahead to next year. We’ve looked back at digital marketing prediction pieces from 12 months ago. And as we approached 2020, nobody predicted what was to come. Why would they?

According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre, confirmed cases of COVID-19, have now passed 60 million globally. And the number of deaths stands at over 1.4 million.

As we head towards another uncertain 12 months in 2021, how should our digital marketing strategy be shaping up?

Below are five points our digital marketing agency offers you to consider when putting together your plan together.

Consumers have changed

… hell, just about everything has changed! Including the consumer. But this change in buying, means more opportunity. Your digital marketing approach should reflect this. Take the message to people at home. If you’re a brand, there’s probably never been a more important time to perfect your online presence.

Your digital marketing strategy should reflect the impact the coronavirus has had on the consumer. And your digital marketing agency should be agile enough, not just to accommodate your own flexibility, but also your responsiveness and indeed, be proactive on your behalf.

What does the audience want to hear? Think about the emotional position they may find themselves in. How do we now need to communicate with them?

Plan

Planning is the most difficult part. But remember, this will pass. Flexibility for now, is the key.

Lockdown followed by a tier system, means clients and staff may or may not be able to attend the workplace.

Seize this opportunity and make your digital strategy larger and more diverse than usual. Create an editorial and social calendar that supports your digital marketing approach. Fill it with planned content, but don’t be frightened to react and change digitally to an ever-changing landscape. Trending topics altered more than ever in 2020. The plan is a good base, but be nimble as well.

Digital marketing flexibility

 What do we mean by being nimble? More digital marketing solutions must be considered across industries. Make webinars part of your digital marketing strategy. Make remote podcasting part of the plan. Consider recorded newsletter updates on a two weekly or monthly basis. Zoom discussions with Q&A’s instead of meetings. Create your own online course, or point people in the direction of one elsewhere.

Your digital marketing strategy doesn’t have to be about what you do. Perhaps you’ve read something health related your audience might like? Is there a home schooling challenge? Take the human approach to digital marketing.

Facebook advertising

If you haven’t already, consider Facebook ads as part of your digital marketing strategy. More people spending time at home, means more time on social media. The introduction of a vaccine might not necessarily change this.

Facebook ads don’t have to be expensive for smaller businesses either.

With all this in mind, use Facebook advertising to remind people you’re still there.

You may have seen that some of your competition have paused parts of their digital strategy because of the pandemic.

Use Facebook ads to help people now, and win business later. Develop a balance between company tone and understanding current events. You aren’t looking for the “hard” sell. Educate and inform people through your digital marketing strategy.

Measure and tweak your inbound marketing

An array of search trends emerged during each day of the pandemic. It’s impossible for your digital strategy to include such changes.

It doesn’t mean you can’t look at what you’ve already got though. How easy are you to find in the search engines? Are people arriving at your site via SEO or paid advertising?

Could you update your FAQs, with new COVID-19 information? Relevance doesn’t just mean being relevant in your marketing or advertising, but in your information, too. And of course, that reflects well on your brand.

Monitor your changes on a month or quarterly timeframe, and measure the impact. Many of the tools available to help us understand, are free. Why not make best use of them?

And of course, challenge your digital marketing agency. It shouldn’t be there to simply build, improve or even manage your website. It should also be there to actively make sure your marketing directs traffic to your site and that your site converts.

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Tom McDermott is Content and Marketing Manager at Creode, the digitally integrated agency, based in Leeds and London.