6 Things Small Businesses Need to Know About Marketing in 2021

Dec 4th, 2020 Marketing

2020’s reign of terror is almost over, and whether or not 2021 is going to be better, we can’t be sure. But what we do know is it’s going to be different. 

The economic impacts of Covid-19 are long-term, which has caused many small businesses to struggle, fight to stay afloat, and ultimately go under. If you are one of the lucky ones who has sustained despite enforced closures and new rules and regulations, congratulations—we know it hasn’t been easy. 

To give yourself an even better fighting change in 2021, here are six marketing strategies you should focus on to remain competitive, valuable, and indispensable to your customers. 

1: Create quality content 

Until we are living in a dystopian nightmare where reading is no longer an activity for education, information, or recreation, content will continue to be king. Your content marketing needs to be strong and give you the voice to speak confidently while others whisper. 

To create quality content your customers and potential customers want, you need to: 

  • Research your audience. Who are you writing for? What do they need and want? How can you help? 
  • Create content catered to your audience, keeping in mind the answers to the questions above. 
  • Fill your content with rich keywords. Put yourself in your customers’ chair: how would they search for your services or products? How would they find you? What words would they use and what words are relevant to your industry? These keywords will help you connect. 
  • Invest in a solid SEO strategy. Beyond keywords, think of user intent. Why are customers searching for you? When you combine keywords with intent and quality content, you’re building an SEO strategy that can win. 

2: Top-notch customer service 

Take the level of customer service you had in 2020 and multiply it—several times. Because more people will be online—working, browsing, searching—you’ll need to be available to help them when they need it (which likely 10 seconds from now). 

As a small business, it can be difficult to manage your day-to-day operations, fill orders, and respond to emails, support channels, social media DMs, and comments. There are tools you can use (cough, cough, us for one) to help your business maintain and improve customer service response times while balancing everything else you need to accomplish. 

  • In-App messaging directly connects you with your customers while they are using your app or site. The difference between this and other forms of chat is that in-app messaging performs well on mobile devices. Not only do in-app messages help with customer service, but they can also target your best customers while they’re interacting with your brand, leading them toward content that is persuasive, informative, and valuable. 
  • There is a multitude of Customer service software options made for small businesses to help streamline your ability to manage and maintain excellent customer service. 
  • Social media management tools can help you keep track of all your profiles and alert you when DMs are sent to your inbox or new comments are made—all from one place. This makes it easier to review your customers’ needs and address them as soon as possible. 

3: Shorten the customer journey

The longer it takes your customers to reach their goals, the more time you’re giving them to leave. High click-through rates are well and good, but you’re really looking for high conversion rates. Aka: you don’t just want people looking at your site, you want them buying your goods or services. 

How do you do that? By making the customer journey as short and sweet as possible. Don’t muddy up your website or paid ads with unnecessary content, hidden CTAs, or keywords that aren’t relevant. Build strong, precise content fueled by simplified UX design so your customers can get what they want in a couple of clicks. 

If you want customers to sign up for a newsletter, make sure you’re leading them to this action. If you want them to purchase your products, check that they can do so quickly, easily, and without hiccups. Put your customers’ goals first, and create a way for them to achieve those goals seamlessly. 

4: Create content frequently 

The more you make, the more invaluable you make yourself to your customers—as long as it’s good content. The web fills up with new content faster than a Cardi B. concert (when we could go to concerts), so the more good stuff you make, the more people will gravitate toward your business. 

Think of the keywords you use to build SEO. Go back to these keywords and brainstorm ways you can create content that makes these words come to life. If one of your best keywords is ceramic pots, build content surrounding that keyword. Shoot a short video on how to make ceramic pots or how to paint them. Write a blog about all the uses for ceramic pots. Bid on a paid ad that highlights your ceramic pots and why they’re special. Keywords can do more than just work for your SEO, they can also be the inspiration for a variety of content you can use to reach current and new customers. 

5: Think local 

What’s that old adage.. .shoot for the moon so you land among the stars? It’s kind of like that. Every business wants to grow, but if you’re a small business or a startup, it’s smart to think local, act global. 

How can you become a household name in your community? How can you position yourself as the go-to business for X, Y, or Z? Local marketing can bring in a surge of new customers and put your business on track to grow in the direction you want. For example, if you’re writing a paid ad, instead of simply saying: 

Ceramic pots | All colors, All Sizes | Handmade 

You can build your local presence by saying: 

Ceramic Pots | All Colors & Sizes | Handmade in Indianapolis 

Now, when users search for ceramic pots near them, your company is more likely to appear in an organic search. However, local marketing goes beyond paid ads, but also involves your website content, blogs, social media posts, community outreach, and grassroots marketing to support the community where you live. Remember this when creating content so you’re producing information your community needs. 

6: Use big data (It’s not just for the big guys)

We live in an age where you can find out almost anything about anyone at any time. As terrifying as that is, it can also be helpful for small businesses. You can tap into trends related to your businesses, habits, and needs of your target audiences, the market conditions that may impact your business, seasonal trends, and dips and spikes of your revenue. 

Analyzing data allows you to make smarter decisions and generate new ideas to help your business grow. After all, the more you know…

There are many marketing practices that can help your business in 2021—these are the tip of the iceberg, but assuredly practices you’ll want to look into and implement in the coming weeks. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a hand with your marketing, let us know! We’re here to help.

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