Get your digital marketing strategy together for 2021

The world has gone digital!

A pandemic and lockdown may have been the catalyst, but the digital way is here to stay – and you don’t have to be left behind.

The first and most important lesson is that all marketing now includes digital marketing. So let’s have a look at what you need to do to adapt to the new world of marketing for your business.

Step 1 – Review your 2020 marketing strategy

1.  What worked for you in 2020 and garnered results for your business objectives?
2.  What did not work for you in 2020 and may have been to your business’ detriment?
3.  What changes did you make during 2020 as the world and consumers changed, and were those changes for the better or for the worse?

Step 2 – Review your audience

Naturally, consumer behaviour has changed drastically in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Your regular consumers may not be so regular anymore. And you may have new consumers who you don’t fully understand just yet.
Start researching who your audience really is, where to reach them and how they prefer to connected with.

Step 3 – Create new goals

Write up your goals for 2021 using the SMART method.

Specific – If it is vague, you are not going to get anywhere near achieving it.

Measurable – This makes it easy to monitor and evaluate throughout the year and allows you to see where you might be going wrong and how close you come at the end of the year.

Attainable – A realistic goal is one that requires effort, but does not require a miracle.

Relevant – You have to consider the times you are living in when thinking about what is possible for your business and your consumers.

Time-bound – Setting a time period of 1 year, for example, also helps you break your goal into quarterly and halfway points as stepping stones to your larger goal.

Step 4 – Utilise methods of digital marketing which support your goals

SEO – Search Engine Optimisation increases traffic to your website via your Google rankings, and is best carried out by an expert who can keep track of the frequent changes.

PPC – Pay-per-click is the new paid advertising, putting your on the screens you need to be, and it is ever-evolving with the latest addition being ‘smart bidding’, automated by Google.

Blogging – Regular, well-written blog posts increase brand awareness and establish you as an authority in your field.

Social media – The various platforms, when in the right hands, can be used for audience engagement, brand awareness and convenience, as well as to drive traffic to your website.

Step 5 – Monitor & Evaluate

One of the best offerings of digital marketing is that it is measurable – as in line with the M in the SMART method.
It is imperative that, no matter which digital marketing methods you are using to achieve your goals, you make full use of their analytical features.

Top digital marketing trends for 2021

There are 6 up-and-coming trends for 2021 which you can incorporate into your strategy. Here they are:


Video, including live video, is gaining popularity at a significant rate. And there are many different types of videos you can be uploading as a business – from traditional ads to staff interviews, tutorials and so much more.


Podcasts have become the ideal background ‘edutainment’ as something you can listen to while washing the dishes and doing other mundane tasks. It is also an alternative for those who are not ready for video just yet. Also in line with the growing need for convenience, voice search is on the rise – so content needs to cater for audio search results, too.

User-generated content

More and more brands are including user-generated content (UGC) in their marketing strategy. What is it? According to Christina Newberry from Hootsuite, UGC is ‘any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands’. Brands can then share the UGC on their own social media accounts and website. Why is it effective? Because people trust other people more than they trust a brand or business.

Brand activism

This is a tricky concept, and maybe the word ‘trend’ doesn’t cover it. Brand activism is about businesses and brands taking social responsibility and standing behind causes which align with their values. Examples include eco-friendly products and openly showing support to the LGBTQ community. The catch here is that it must be authentic – it cannot be done just to get likes or followers – and it is even more effective when the business actually does something more than just a social media post.

Nostalgic marketing

Given the uncertainty of both 2020 and 2021, content which inspires nostalgia, fond memories and a strong emotional connection offers comfort to audiences. So if you can find a way to associate nostalgic marketing with your product or service, your audience may start associating those good feelings with your brand.

Branded content

Not to be confused with product placement or even conventional advertising, branded content utilises storytelling, events or entertainment to convey a message other than that of trying to sell the brand’s product or service. By disregarding what you are selling, you are creating brand awareness and an emotional connection in a more subtle, nuanced and trustworthy way. The Lego Movie and the plethora of soccer teams and stadiums owned and named after Red Bull are prime examples of this.

Read about SEO and content trends in more detail in our other Haystack How-To blogs:

Whether you need help with Step 1 or Step 5 or any of the latest trends – we can help you make 2021 the year your business grows into the digital future.

Let Haystack! take your online presence to the next level.

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