Most marketing experts will tell you that an important part of the job is learning how to effectively adapt and deal with the unexpected. While there’s still some time before the end of this year, it’s not too late to consider enhancing your marketing strategy, and not too early to think about how your enhancements will affect 2021. Though it’s impossible to forecast the future, you can use insights gained in 2020 to apply to your upcoming strategy. Also, you can determine what’s needed to make a more substantial impact on your overall success. Here are several ways to improve your marketing to close out 2020.
1. Prioritize Excellent Customer Service
If excellent customer service — both in-person and online — hasn’t already been a top priority, it needs to be a big focus as you head toward 2021. Nearly half of consumers on social media say that they tend to unfollow brands if they receive poor customer service. Marketers can’t afford to put off any questions or concerns they receive from customers online. As you consider how to boost your marketing, take time to evaluate how you handle your customer inquiries, and how you can best support your team to do so effectively. Even simply pointing someone in a positive direction makes a difference. It’s equally important to speed up the time that your brand takes to respond, as a vast majority of customers expect responses within 24 hours of contacting you. Timely response helps resolve problems quickly, and also contributes toward customer loyalty. When expectations are met, customers are much more likely to stay with brands long-term.
2. Adjust to Shorter Attention Spans
During this time of change and a steady wave of media input, attention spans are shorter than ever. It’s a big challenge to stand out, both IRL and online. Now is an important time to be sure your business ranks well in search results. Needing assistance in this area? Contact an SEO expert to help you enhance your brand’s reputation and reach. In your social media, you can stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds by making space for frequent updates that engage and foster a sense of connection.
3. Focus on Images and Video
On social media, the substance of your content needs to be relevant, and the medium also matters. Customer research indicates that a significant majority prefer engaging with images while about half prefer video content. As you look over the content you’ve presented in 2020, make note of the posts that received the highest level of engagement, and make a list of ideas about how you can turn the topics into compelling visual content. Doing an interview? Make it into a video. Got a quick announcement? Add visual content. You get the idea.
4. Make Timely Updates
Related to the above, keep in mind that while many follow brands for inspiration and humor, most are also wanting to learn about new services and products from your social feed. Consider the types of updates that are most attractive to your audiences (in addition to product launches) when you plan your social content. Check out similar social media accounts to get ideas.
5. Target New Customers
It’s a big challenge to build new audiences online. You’re competing with others who offer similar products/services, thinking of new ways to get content noticed, and fighting for your audience’s attention span. Getting more views of your social profile involves knowing how your ideal customers search for accounts to follow. Many of them use discovery tools and suggestions in their feed to discover new accounts. As you think about marketing in 2021, consider targeting consumers who show an interest in industries similar to yours, using hashtags and strategically placed ads to gain traction.
Improving your marketing in 2020 involves a few key factors, including customer service and enhancing visibility. Try these tips to move into 2021 with a strong plan.
Guest Article by Kevin Gardner
Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance.