The World Has Changed - So Must Your Marketing
Learn how 2020 has changed the marketing landscape forever and how you can prepare your business for success in the future.
The Changing Marketing Landscape
2020 was a tumultuous year, to say the least. While it’s true that marketing as a concept is always evolving, 2020 introduced so many drastic changes to the world in such a short period of time that many people were left feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about what the future holds.
As a business owner, it’s essential to stay abreast of the many changes that will no doubt impact you moving forward. Let’s take a quick look at some of the many ways that the world has changed to impact marketing, and how marketing has changed to impact the world.
Changing Marketing Budgets
Due to the shutdowns and other challenges that 2020 brought, many businesses found themselves in difficult situations and were forced to make cuts in order to stay afloat.
For many, this meant cutting the marketing budget. This forced marketers to do more with less, delivering more leads on a smaller marketing budget in order to make up for the losses that were incurred.
Consequently, it was more important than ever for marketers to be able to clearly communicate the value that marketing brings. The end result of this has been an increasing shift toward data and analytics, as businesses are more pressed than ever to ensure that they’re receiving a good return on investment.
Changing Marketing Channels
In addition to their changing marketing budget, marketers have been be forced to change the methods and channels they use to reach customers.
While digital marketing has been increasing in importance for years, 2020 represented an incredibly sudden shift that left a strong impact on the field moving forward. With fewer people going out, digital marketing became more relevant than ever, as did e-commerce, in order to reach people that were staying home. People were outside and in groups less, and inside more, which made attracting them through digital means more important than ever.
On the other hand, traditional methods such as radio and billboard ads were already in decline, but with fewer people out and about and fewer cars on the road, you can expect a drastic decline in the impact they had in years past. Likewise, live in-person events were phased out entirely for the year.
However, the new challenges that COVID-19 introduced also gave way to innovation. Many companies were quickly able to take their operations remote while retail stores were able to turn to e-commerce to stay afloat. Therefore, the same types of innovations will likely start to be incorporated into marketing strategies moving into the future.
Building Success for the Future
Now that you’ve seen some of the ways marketing changed in 2020, here are some essential strategies businesses will need to incorporate into their marketing efforts if they want to find success in the future:
Have a Beautiful, Functional Website
If there was ever a time to invest in a new website, it’s now. Having a functional website is an essential part of creating a positive user experience: lead your visitors to a page that’s poorly-designed or not optimized for their platform, and you risk them throwing up their hands and simply backing out to find what they’re looking for somewhere else.
While the above statement has been true for decades, having a great website has only become more crucial. People are still spending more time than ever at home and on their computers, so successful brands will need to capitalize on this change in consumer behavior by having a website that can draw in new eyes and keep them there.
Your website should be beautiful yet streamlined, giving visitors exactly what they’re looking for and making use of effective calls-to-action on the page to direct them to make a purchase. Pages should feature opportunities for micro-interactions visitors can click on, such as drop-down menus and embedded videos, in order to drive up engagement.
Keep in mind that website overhauls can take time, so now is the time to get started if you want a fresh new look moving into the future.
Invest in SEO
While having a great website is a necessity, it won’t mean much if you can’t attract viewers to it in the first place. Search engine optimization (SEO) serves to help you get seen when people search for your industry or for the specific services you provide by ranking your website more prominently in the search results page: the better your SEO, the higher your placement.
Like your website, the need to optimize your digital efforts to rank highly on search is not a new concept but certainly one that has only grown in importance with the change in consumer behavior that 2020 introduced. The ability to direct them to your website while they’re inside on their laptops has never been more important to your overall success.
Successful SEO is the sum of a number of moving parts, including the content on your website, how pages on your website are differentiated, how links on the page are organized, how often the site is updated, how your calls-to-action are featured, and more.
In addition to optimizing your website and marketing efforts for search, you should also boost your efforts with the help of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. Search engines reward businesses that can integrate intelligent and well-targeted PPC campaigns into their overall marketing strategy, making it a powerful tool for the digital-focused marketing climate.
PPC advertising systems such as Google Ads work by allowing businesses to bid on certain keywords that their customers are searching for. When someone makes a search that’s relevant to your industry, Google will choose from bidders based on algorithms that take into account how relevant the search’s keywords are to your branding, the quality of the landing pages the ads would be sending customers to, the size of each business’s keyword bids, and other factors. Once the winners have been calculated, they are then featured prominently at the top of the search results page, albeit with a note signifying that these are paid ads.
As the name suggests, the primary benefit of PPC advertising is its cost-effectiveness. You only pay when someone clicks on your link, so you already have some level of assurance that you’re getting a return on your investment that simply isn’t present in traditional marketing. Successful pay-per-click campaigns use relevant keywords that lead to optimized landing pages and clear calls-to-action that entice viewers to make a purchase.
While successful PPC requires a lot of research to ensure the keywords you’re targeting are relevant and specific to the words and phrases your customers are searching for, introducing PPC to your arsenal is a great and cost-effective way to supplement your other marketing efforts.
Stick Out From the Crowd
Just getting viewers on your page is not enough – you have to find a way to captivate them once they arrive. Thanks to social media, people are starting to build relationships with brands that are more personal than ever before, so smart businesses capitalize on this by differentiating themselves from their competitors as much as possible in order to give their brands a unique flavor all their own.
64% of marketing professionals surveyed indicated that branding and public relations will be the most important element of marketing strategies
One way to make your website pop is through great graphic design. It’s important to have a website with graphic designs that successfully portray the image and the tone you want to give off. Successful design breaks up the content on the page while emphasizing whatever point the content is trying to convey, making it more memorable.
In general, it’s a good idea to use a muted color palette using heavy, simple fonts while incorporating a good mix of illustrations and authentic stock photos that can bring your brand to life. The more types of media you can incorporate to express your message, the better.
Increase Contactless Interactions
While it remains to be seen if the COVID-19 outbreak will ultimately be the death of in-person marketing efforts, that doesn’t mean that it is no longer important to reach out to potential customers directly when possible. One good way to overcome this is through the use of webinars and other digital media that invoke the feeling of person-to-person interaction without putting anyone at risk.
Investing in these types of marketing efforts is also a sound decision for your long-term strategies. Many experts agreed that 2020 introduced a “new normal,” and as live events start to make a comeback, there will likely be a virtual element incorporated into these events moving forward. As the methods we use to reach people continue to evolve, these types of contactless interactions can start to fill the void of in-person opportunities that have been lost.
Address Your Actions
In the wake of COVID-19, many companies have took to make themselves and their customers safer. Of course, these steps were taken out of necessity, but that doesn’t mean they can’t serve as a reminder to your audience about who you are as a brand and what you stand for.
In the wake of a disaster, maintaining positive public relations is crucial. In fact, a 2020 study by Bright indicates that 64% of marketing professionals surveyed indicated that branding and public relations will be the most important element of marketing strategies as we emerge from COVID-19 lockdowns in 2021 and beyond.
Emphasize in your marketing how you are addressing recent events. If you offer a service that involves any sort of client interaction, talk about how steps you are taking to lower the risk of spreading the virus. This is a quick way not only to let your customers know that you care, but that you’re not all talk – your actions back it up. This can also be a good way to grow goodwill in the social media era.
Analyze Your Results
Finally, you need the ability to track your results and monitor your effectiveness in order to find out what you’re doing well and what needs improvement. While that’s always been true, the changes that the future holds make it more relevant than ever.
While we can predict some of the ways that the world will change in the coming year and how marketing will have to change in response, no one can be absolutely certain what the future holds. The ability to analyze your results and find out what’s working and what isn’t is an essential part of being able to keep your business agile, allowing you to respond to new changes as they develop and putting you in a better place to succeed no matter what new challenges arise.
Marketing Is Evolving
It’s important to remember that we are still learning how the events that transpired in 2020 will continue to impact us moving forward. Important elements of digital marketing such as search engine optimization and pay-per-click are iterative, meaning they are constantly being updated, and will only continue to change as time goes on.
In an uncertain future, it pays to have a trusted partner on your side that can help you navigate choppy waters and stay agile in the face of change. A professional marketing agency can not only improve your online presence but also help you analyze your results so that you can continue to adapt and thrive.
If you’re looking for a marketing partner that can prepare you for success in the future, look no further than FieldRoutes. Our team of professional web developers, content creators, graphic designers, and marketing analysts take great strides to stay on top of all the changes that affect the field of marketing, and we can use this expertise to help your brand stay afloat amid a sea of uncertainty.
Marketing is always evolving. Evolve with it with help from FieldRoutes.
Your Partner in Growth
We hope this guide has been helpful. Whether you’re looking to add efficiencies, make things easier for your employees, improve your customer service, increase sales, or anything in between, FieldRoutes is committed to helping your business reach its full potential. Our business management software and integrated marketing services are built with your customers and employees in mind and can help you achieve the growth you’ve always dreamed about.
Call for a Demo at 207.492.4235
Join the number of thriving businesses using FieldRoutes to acquire new customers, improve automation, and crush the competition.