Digital Marketing in 2021: The Ultimate Playbook

by | Dec 14, 2020 | Digital Marketing, Marketing Strategy

In early 2020, digital marketing saw an enormous increase as online activity skyrocketed. In fact, according to an Hubspot, almost every online marketing channel reported increases in 2020. These trends are only expected to continue in 2021, causing many small business owners to rethink their marketing approach for the new year.

The digital marketing landscape is constantly changing. New technologies, strategies, and platforms make it necessary for marketing agencies to stay on top of current trends.

Based on where Signature W Studio has seen the landscape trend over the last 24 months, we have a firm understanding of what Digital Marketing will look like in 2021. To make it easy on our audience, we put together a series of posts to help you create a plan for digital marketing success over the next 12 months.

With digital marketing proving to be such an essential piece to any business’s success, the worst thing business owners or brands can do is not have an impactful strategy prepared for 2021.

How to Win at Digital Marketing in 2021

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to digital marketing success. Because each business is so different, there is no magic formula that guarantees success in the digital marketing sphere. However, by focusing on a few key areas, businesses can optimize their strategies to earn them the highest rate of return on their marketing investment and see the greatest results.

Focus on Your Audience

The biggest mistake you can make when crafting your digital marketing plan is failing to define your audience.

Gone are the days that crafting a singular message sufficed for reaching and retaining an audience: 90% of consumers find marketing personalization very or somewhat appealing.

Consumers are smarter than ever, and so are the technologies used to collect and track their demographic information. With sophisticated demographics tools, businesses can gain key insights about their target audiences with very little cost or effort. In fact, a quick look through your company’s Facebook insights can tell you much more about your existing audience than you might expect. Income level, education, marital status, and even individual interests are all readily available to help you craft the perfect digital campaign.

If you haven’t developed your digital presence yet, you can still focus your audience and build a message or campaign that’s optimized for reaching such an audience. Think about the age, gender, income level, and shopping behaviors that your target consumers may have. Build a buyer persona complete with interests that fall outside the scope of your products or service offerings.

Get as granular as possible so when it comes time to build your target audience, you’ll have more than enough details to create an impactful marketing campaign.

Take an MultiChannel Approach

From search engines to social media, web-based games to mobile apps, there are more digital places for target consumers to live than ever before.

In order to get your message heard by the right people in the right place at the right time, you need to take a multichannel approach to your digital marketing strategy.

This is another reason why it helps to nail down your target audience: By identifying who your target audience is, you can better predict which platforms they use and plan your campaigns accordingly.

An ideal multichannel approach can include:

Companies that cover all their bases by establishing a presence across multiple channels have a better chance at reaching their target audience and converting them into lifelong customers.

Integrate Your Marketing Campaigns

When establishing your presence across multiple channels, you’ll want to ensure your campaign has a unified, integrated approach.

Segmenting your channels too much can end up backfiring, so it’s best to ensure your message remains cohesive throughout all strategies employed.

Think of your digital marketing efforts as an interconnected story: Each piece should work well together to be successful and resonate with your audience.

Focus on Brand & Reputation

As more people enter the digital marketing space in 2021, there will be increased competition between others in your industry. Take the opportunity to focus on your brand and reputation so you can communicate your key differentiators effectively and stand out from the crowd.

This also relates to our previous point about campaign integration: The more cohesive your campaign, the more opportunity you have to establish your unique brand story.

Even if you’re operating within a niche industry, it’s still important to establish brand authority through thought leadership, storytelling, and compelling, creative campaigns. While you’re taking the time to define your audience, you may also want to define yourself as a company so you can more easily convey your message.

Narrow Down Your Targets

We can’t say it enough: Audience definition is key to campaign success. But more than defining the target audience, businesses need to define their key performance indicators (KPI) so they can track campaign success or failure from the get-go.

For example, if the goal is brand awareness, then your KPI metric to watch should be impressions earned on your ad set. By defining your targets, you’ll be better able to understand the data collected from your campaigns, which brings us to our next point…

Use Data to Make Informed Decisions

Campaign data exists for a reason, and is more accessible than ever before. You can easily use it to adapt your campaign creative, messaging, and overall strategy so you can maximize results.

Many marketing automation tools and advertising platforms also allow businesses to conduct A/B tests to compare creative, messaging, conversion rates, and more. This allows marketers to pinpoint the exact cause for campaign success or failure so they can be more intentional about their ad spend allocation and resources.

Not only that, but leveraging campaign data can also help you save money on wasted efforts. For instance, if the cost per click for a Facebook campaign is $1.00 more than your Google Search campaign, it may be more cost-effective (and results-driven) to allocate more ad spend to the Google Search efforts than continuing to spend on both platforms equally.

Plan, Organize & Commit

As with anything in life, a plan is nothing if it doesn’t have the organization or commitment to make it a success. While marketing tools are allowing many small businesses to remain relevant in today’s digital landscape, it takes hard work and effort to drive digital marketing success.

This isn’t to say that creating and maintaining a successful campaign is impossible on your own, it’s just a heck of a lot easier with a team of seasoned professionals to manage your campaign efforts and help you make the best decisions.

Put Your Digital Marketing Plan into Action

Regardless of the approach you take and due to increased digital marketing accessibility in 2021, the name of the game is figuring out how to get yourself noticed. Businesses need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and attract the right attention.

The average person sees between 6,000 and 10,000 ads on any given day. Make sure yours is one of the few that makes an impact and leads to meaningful action for your brand by investing in your 2021 digital marketing strategy today.

The Full 2021 Digital Marketing Playbook

Throughout the end of 2020 and heading into 2021 we will be breaking down all of our strategies for success in 2021.

Read them all here in one place:

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