A woman stands in front of a blackboard that contains a graph and captions under the heading "Marketing."
New year, new marketing plan: The start of 2021 is a perfect time to review and refresh your business's marketing strategies. — Getty Images/alvarez

In 2020, many business owners were doing their best just to stay afloat for another month. If you’re ready to get out of survival mode and focus on growth, updating your marketing can help.

Consider what worked and what didn’t work in 2020

Before you can make any changes, you need to look at the previous year and determine what worked and what didn’t. What email campaigns worked the best, and which ones saw little traction?

If you made a pivot during the pandemic, what changes did you make? Evaluating the past year will help you determine what you need to move forward in the new year.

Take another look at your target audience

If your business went through a significant shift, then your audience may have changed. And even if your target audience hasn’t changed, the way they interact with your product or service likely has. The needs of the average consumer have changed dramatically since the pandemic started.

Find opportunities to repurpose your content

Creating new content can be incredibly time-consuming, so all business owners should look for opportunities to repurpose existing content. Here are a few ways you can repurpose your content:

  • Take a popular blog post and turn it into a series of social media posts.
  • Update old blog posts by improving the headlines and adding current statistics.
  • Compile several of your most popular blog posts and turn them into an e-book.

Identify new trends you can take advantage of

With our world changing so rapidly, it’s essential to think about what marketing trends will be relevant in the upcoming year. For instance, Facebook Live and Instagram became incredibly popular when the country was on lockdown.

With more people working from home, things like webinars and virtual conferences will become increasingly popular. And podcasts will likely continue to grow in popularity in 2021.

[Read more: 7 Useful Tools for Hosting a Webinar]

One of the biggest marketing opportunities that many businesses overlook is their current customers’ friends and family.

Do a social media audit

It’s a good idea to periodically audit your social media profiles and see what’s working and what isn’t. Not only can this help you bring in new customers, but it can help you use your time more effectively.

If you’re steadily gaining followers and engagement on Instagram, this is probably an area you want to focus on more. Then you can let go of the social media profiles that aren’t working as well for you.

Use customer data to personalize your messaging

Personalization is crucial if you want to survive in the current market. Customers will tune out generic marketing messages designed to appeal to everyone.

The best way to incorporate personalization into your marketing is by segmenting your customers based on their behavior. From there, you can interact with them based on the kind of relationship you have with that group of customers.

Encourage more word-of-mouth marketing

One of the biggest marketing opportunities that many businesses overlook is their current customers’ friends and family. An estimated 77% of customers will try out a new product or service if a family member or friend recommends it.

Look for opportunities to encourage your customers to share the message about your brand. Offer discounts and rewards anytime they refer your business to someone in their network.

Update your website

The new year is a great time to update your website and find ways to improve the design and user experience. First, make sure there are no broken links, incorrect information or outdated content.

From there, take a look at your analytics and see what pages on your site are the most popular. Do any have extraordinarily high bounce rates? If so, you should probably take a look at those and consider changing or removing them.

[Read more: How to Drive Traffic to Your Website]

Do competitor research

It’s a good idea to periodically check and see what your competition is doing. If you use a tool like SEMRush, you can see what your competitors are doing to market their business online.

Make a note of their pricing, any ads they’re running and the messaging they use in their content. Looking at this may give you inspiration for how you can improve your marketing efforts.

Automate your marketing as much as possible

Finally, once you have your marketing strategy in place, look for ways to automate it. The right marketing automation tools can make customer personalization easier and customize your advertising efforts even further.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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