New Year, New You: Set Marketing Goals That Will Stick December 28, 20202021! Never before have we been so excited about the start of a new year! (At least, not since we welcomed the new millennium in 2000 – how was that two decades ago already?) The past 12 months have been like no other. If all your marketing goals went out the window, don’t be too hard yourself. You’re certainly not alone! However, with all the hope and good vibes 2021 is bringing in, there’s absolutely no better time to reset and invest your energy into planning for the year ahead. We get that goalsetting can be intimidating. But without clear digital marketing goals, you’re basically throwing your time and energy into a great big black hole. Start by asking yourself what you want to achieve, because this will help the rest of your strategy fall into place. Are you looking to: Build brand recognition? Generate more leads? Get higher engagement rates? Strengthen relationships with current clients? Distinguish yourself from competitors? Keep reading, because we’ve suggested five digital marketing goals you might like to consider for 2021. We’ve also given some tactics you can put into place to flip the script on the year that was. What’s that, you say? You’re starting to feel a little optimistic? So are we! Tired of scouring the internet for answers? Contact us and let’s talk goals. Goal #1: Refresh Your Brand Your brand is a vital part of your business. It represents the first impression you make on all your clients, and if it doesn’t live up to their standards, you probably won’t see them again. Deciding to update your brand, whether that’s a refresh or a total rebrand, can go a long way toward generating leads and converting sales. However, it involves careful thought. Refreshes are often expressed through subtle changes such as updating the logo, color palette, collateral, or tone, to modernize your look and attract attention. It’s important that your brand refresh rolls out across every aspect of your marketing presence, from the sign outside your office to your social media and website. Here are three things to consider: Reinforce Your Existing Identity If you’re planning to refresh your brand, make sure to take existing brand assets into account. You want any changes you make to live holistically with what already exists. Remind people who are you are, what you have to offer, and why they should be your customers. Rediscover Your Brand’s Potential Everything changed in 2020, and you’ll need to continue changing and adapting in the new year. To do this, you’ll need to rediscover your brand identity in order to remain relevant to your audience. What made you go into business in the first place? What drives you today? What problems do you solve? What values govern your day-to-day practices? Revise Your Brand’s Voice Your brand messaging will evolve as your business grows and new competitors arrive on the scene. It’s a good idea to regularly review your brand voice because from time to time, you may find that your voice needs a bit of refreshing. This shows that you are listening to your customers, paying attention to what works, and actively looking for ways to improve. Goal #2: Get a Content Strategy If your content didn’t bring in the results you hoped to achieve in 2020, it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy. If you fail to create a solid content marketing strategy, you’ll also fail to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and more. Good content strategies are driven by business objectives. If you’re not quite sure how to start developing a content strategy that aligns with your 2021 goals, ask few questions: What do you want your content to accomplish? How are you measuring the effectiveness of the content? What is your target audience? Where are the gaps in your current content? What are your content strengths and how can you optimize them? How will you distribute the content? Goal #3: Revamp Your Website When it comes to promoting your business, your website will be more important than ever in 2021. The pandemic accelerated the move toward digitization, and having a website allows you to market your business online in this highly digital world. It’s clear that more people will be using the Internet to find products and services. Your website will need to be more reliable, faster-loading, and consumer-friendly, or you’ll get left in the dust by the competition. Is your website up to the task? Some benefits of updating your website include: Your website will rank higher on search results. Your target audience will connect with your story. You’ll strengthen your brand image. It also provides opportunities to diversify your business. U.S. consumers are estimated to have spent more than $709 billion on eCommerce in 2020, which is an increase of 18%. If you want a slice of this pie, your clunky old website has to go. On top of potential revenue growth, updating your website also means you may be able to automate some processes, such as scheduling appointments or managing inventory, which will help save valuable time as we kick into the new year. Goal #4: Boost Your Socials It’s no surprise that 2020 saw unprecedented changes in social media usage. For many companies, social media won’t just be a part of their business in 2021, it will be their business. The last 12 months have shown us just how important social media is in generating and maintaining human connections, not just when it comes to building a brand online, but from a personal perspective as well. Social media plays a crucial role in driving sales, providing customer service, and improving brand awareness. A strategy is essential to social media success. Before you draft your social media plan, take a step back. Evaluate the current state of your social media accounts. Which platforms are you using? How are you using them? Have they been effective so far? Once you have these answers, you can start developing your social media strategy. Here are a few things that will get you started: Research the Competition Start by gathering information about your target audience and what type of content they interact with. If you’re not sure how to do this, hashtags are a great way to determine trends. It’s important to remember that people interact with different social media platforms in different ways, so you’ll need to put some thought into which ones will be most effective for you. It’s also a good idea to check out what your competitors are doing on social – you can learn from their mistakes and adapt the strategies that are working for them for your own business needs. Develop a Content Plan This goes back to Goal #2. (Gah! Seems like it was so long ago. We’ll wait while you quickly scroll up to check… OK cool, ready to proceed?) Quality content that resonates with your audience is crucial for the success of your social media channels. We feel like we can speak to everyone on this topic: no-one wants to see boring, generic, impersonal content in 2021. Surprise your audience! Aim for quality over quantity. Few high-quality posts will be much better for your brand than many half-baked ones. Time to Get Graphic We all know that posts with images perform better. Visual content, such as infographics, can be powerful material in social media. It’s worth investing some time to get these right. Make sure the colors and fonts match your brand guide, to keep a consistent look and feel, and think outside the box to come up with creative and engaging ways you can present information visually. Engage meaningfully Responding to your audience on social media shows them that you care. If you actively engage with your followers you can spark conversations and show them that your brand has a human side. It’s important to be consistent in your approach, so make sure you stick to your brand personality. Monitor Merformance If you find that your social media metrics are down in 2021, that’s okay. Keep trying until you find out what works and make necessary adjustments across your platforms. Great social media engagement often requires a process of trial and error (nowadays we prefer to call it A/B testing), so don’t be afraid to throw a bit of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. It’s worth the effort. Goal #5: Make 2021 Your Year This is your year to dominate the marketing game. As you reflect back on your growth and success this year, don’t forget about the opportunities you have to do even better next year. Make 2021 your year – your year of progress, your year of trying something new, your year of acceleration, your year of insane can’t-even-believe-how-awesome-it-is growth. Want to accomplish all of these goals in 2021 and more? The reality is you might need some help to do that. Especially if you want to set a strategy that will actually stick. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it on your own. Hiring the right marketing partner to support your 2021 marketing efforts can make all the difference in seeing results. If you want to maximize your impact, you may wish to consider partnering with a marketing agency. Whatever your goals may be, we’re here to help you set your goals, refine your strategy, and grow your business. We’re ready for a fresh start. How about you? Want to make 2021 the best year yet? Let’s get started.