If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be nimble and agile in our approach to doing business. Being able to pivot at a moment’s notice – whether that means switching focus to eCommerce or moving an entire workforce to home working – could spell the difference between success and failure.
As business owners look forward to the year ahead, many are counting their blessings to have made it this far and forging ahead with big plans for 2021. If you’re already thinking about marketing plans, we have 18 ways you can promote your business in 2021 and beyond.
1. Ramp up SEO efforts
Once you have a website up-and-running, you’re already engaging in SEO. Take this up a notch by working with an SEO agency to help you identify and act on opportunities. SEO can be a highly effective way to generate new leads and sales for your business, so don’t neglect the long-term strategies in favour of short-term wins.
2. Explore PPC
We recommend taking a balanced approach to promoting your website, using SEO and PPC in tandem to help you dominate the SERP. PPC will allow you to flick a switch and enjoy instant, high-intent website traffic. PPC can be a drain on your budget, so it’s important to optimise for conversions and keep an eye on your CPC.
3. Spruce up your Google My Business page
Many customers turned to Google for information during the Coronavirus lockdowns, and Google My Business pages became vital to let customers know changes to your opening hours and your services. Make 2021 the year you commit to making sure your GMB page is verified and up-to-date.
4. Share your wisdom on social media
If you have some industry insight to share, you can guarantee someone on social media will find it helpful. Research the right hashtags to use for your industry and uncover the people that are most likely to respond to your insight. Remember that social media is a conversation, so always engage where possible.
5. Try social media ads
Social media advertising will allow you to reach a very specific audience, with a very specific message at a very specific time. It could be just the thing you need to launch a new product or service and get some valuable feedback. As with all paid advertising, it pays to be thorough and specific when you set things up.
6. Start a podcast
If you have a lot to say and nowhere to share it, a podcast could help you to position yourself as a thought leader. Invest in a decent audio setup and you could soon be climbing the iTunes podcast charts. Don’t worry that everyone seems to be starting a podcast these days. Provided you have something to say and can do it with confidence, you can be sure someone will find it valuable.
7. Build your email list
Email marketing is far from dead, so why not make 2021 the year you start putting some time into growing your list. A well-engaged email marketing list can be far more valuable than vanity metrics like social media followers. Landing directly in your customer’s email inbox is better than taking your chance with an algorithm.
8. Keep your blog up-to-date
Blogging is far from dead. There are so many benefits to blogging, including the SEO boost and the chance to share your industry expertise. Make 2021 the year that you commit to a blogging schedule and keep it regularly updated for added impact.
9. Write an ebook
Got a lot to say about a topic? An ebook could help you to share your industry expertise and grow your mailing list at the same time. The tough part is picking a topic that no one has touched before. You should also make sure the finished product is refined and professional looking.
10. Build a chatbot
A chatbot can do a lot of the heavy lifting for your customer service team, leaving them to focus on more pressing matters. Think about the conversations you have over and over with customers and then think about how you could automate these interactions. A well-design chatbot could help to drive conversions and keep your customers happy.
11. Start an affiliate scheme
With an affiliate scheme, everyone can play the role of influencer. An affiliate scheme works by offering a discount or perk to your customers for referring new customers. It’s a great way to spread the word about your business without lifting a finger.
12. Gather reviews
Just like an affiliate scheme, reviews can have a similar impact on your business. Reviews can turn existing customers into brand advocates. When a potential customer is on the fence about your products or services, reviews can help to nudge them in the right direction. Make sure you respond to all reviews to show your appreciation.
13. Focus on conversion rate optimisation
If your website is already getting a good amount of traffic, you could focus on converting more of those website visitors. This is a process known as conversion rate optimisation and it involves making small changes to your website using A/B testing to determine what helps to convert more visitors. It’s a great way to derive more value from your marketing efforts.
14. Refresh your directory listings
When was the last time you checked your directory listings? Directories might seem like an out-of-date concept, but they are still very useful for SEO and search. Use a tool like BrightLocal to check the status of your listings.
15. Try guest posting
Writing for other reputable websites is an excellent way to get your company name out there. If you feel like you’re pushing blogs out into the world and no one gets to see them, guest posting can help. You’ll get to enjoy a wider audience and will typically get a link back to your site for your trouble.
16. Work with micro-influencers
Micro-influencers can often be a better choice for businesses than their more popular and well-known counterparts. Micro-influencers will have a niche following and will charge less for collaborations. Find an influencer who is already familiar with your company and you could strike up a valuable relationship.
17. Write a press release
Don’t neglect your local press in favour of the larger publications. Writing a press release and sending it to your local paper could be a great way to get some publicity for your business. If the paper syndicates their content, this could be spread over multiple websites and then shared on social media.
18. Become a journalist source
You don’t have to make the news, you could also just comment on it. Use a resource like Help A Reporter Out (HARO) to connect with journalists looking for sources. These are often time-sensitive, so be ready to send your pitch when they arrive. This can be an excellent way to get highly niche coverage.