Top 15 Digital Marketing & Sales Strategies to Implement in 2021

Dec 14, 2020 | 7  min
author Kati Fredericksen
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2020 has definitely had some twists and turns that no one was expecting. In the past year, we have seen a dramatic change in the way people consume their media, meaning businesses have had to completely alter their digital strategy on the spot to accommodate these unforeseen changes. So to help you start the new year off on the right foot, we decided to share some insight into what can be expected for marketing and sales teams in 2021. 

Based on the trends we saw in 2020, here are the digital strategies to consider implementing in 2021.
1. Use videos on social media
2. Focus on the user experience
3. Ensure your website is mobile-responsive
4. Update your website
5. Incorporate tools for digital sales enablement
6. Create self-service options
7. Try account-based marketing
8. Market towards Generation Z
9. Take advantage of paid media
10. Update your personas
11. Create content people are searching for
12. Use personalization
13. Automate your tasks
14. Try new marketing tools
15. Review your strategy and budget

1. Use video on social media

With 68% of consumers wanting to engage with image-based content, and 50% wanting to engage with video content, it might be time for you to switch things up this New Year. 

We’ve seen vast shifts in the social media landscape this past year. With TikTok and Instagram Reels debuting in 2020, videos are likely to be the most popular form of content on social media in 2021. 74% of marketers say video marketing is more effective at generating leads than static posts.

Take it one step further and try adding interactive elements to your marketing and sales videos. Interactive videos are a new type of content that gives the viewer the ability to interact with the videos itself creating a user experience like no other. 43% of consumers prefer interactive video content over other types of video content because it gives them the ability to decide what information they want to view and when they want to view it.

Check out more social media best practices to consider in 2021.

2. Focus on the user experience

According to Google, users show they prefer sites with a great page experience. By prioritizing user experience (UX) visitors are more likely to stay engaged on your website rather than visitor your competitors. To help businesses measure the user experience of their website, Google rolled out a new set of metrics not too long ago called “Core Web Vitals” that help measure website speed, responsiveness, and visual stability.

Here are a few other UX design trends and best practices to consider in 2021.

3. Ensure your website is mobile-responsive

Because device usages have increased in 2020 due to COVID, we cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure your website is mobile-optimized. It’ll not only create a great user experience for visitors, but it’ll help with search rankings based on Google’s new “Core Web Vitals” too. 

Download our Responsive Website Design e-book for more information on mobile optimization.

4. Update your website

Don’t start the new year with an outdated or underperforming website. It takes .05 seconds for users to form an opinion about your website, so if your site has poor user experience, isn’t mobile optimized, has a high load time, is outdated, or isn’t being found on Google, then it may be time for a redesign.

Check out some of the design trends to expect in 2021 to get some ideas!

5.  Incorporate tools for digital sales enablement

Today’s consumers are all about instant solutions. And with COVID changing consumer behavior, consumers are expecting everything to be handled online. In 2021 try incorporating a few digital strategies and tools that make it easy for your contacts to conveniently engage with your sales team on their own terms.

Chatbots: Chatbots allow visitors to open live online chat conversations with business representatives on the company website. Businesses can provide support, ask qualifying lead questions, and even convert leads all through a live online chatbot, like Drift.

Video prospecting: Use video prospecting to help stand out amongst competitors and humanize the sales process by putting a face to the name. Personalize your message and include a call to action to have them schedule a meeting with you.

Pre-recorded demos: Save time in your sales process by pre-recording your product demos. You’ll provide a great user experience where viewers can stop, pause, and rewatch the demo when it’s convenient for them. 

Appointment and scheduling tools: Use appointment scheduling tools like Calendly to automatically and accurately schedule meetings with leads right on the spot.

Online transactions and e-signatures: Utilize online transactions and e-signature tools like DocuSign to provide a convenient and fast turnaround on purchases.

6. Create self-service options:

Again, people today want instant gratification. Create a great customer experience by providing resources and answering questions while customers and prospects are engaged.

Knowledge base: Instead of waiting for support to reach back out hours (or even days) later to answer your consumers’ questions, create a knowledge base with the answers to commonly asked questions. Your knowledge base should include examples, pictures, explanations, links to additional resources, etc. 

Training videos: Create a library of how-to videos to help with customer onboarding and product education. HubSpot Academy is a great example.

7. Try account-based marketing

A new digital strategy method to consider in 2021 is account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is a personalized, strategic marketing strategy where key business accounts are marketed directly. 70% of B2B marketers are already zoning in on account-based marketing (ABM) strategies and 85% of marketers who measure ROI have found account-based marketing to deliver higher returns than any other marketing approach!

Here’s some more information on how to incorporate account-based marketing into your digital strategy.

8. Market towards Generation Z

Generation Z is quickly becoming one of the most influential generations in today’s economy. Generation Z makes up 20% of the workforce, 40% of all consumers, and is the largest, most demographically diverse, and most technologically dependent generation. 

Those included within this generation have truly never known a world without the internet or wireless technology, and are therefore changing the digital experience and resetting business expectations. 

Here are some of the trends that have emerged from Generation Z influences to consider incorporating into your 2021 strategy.

9. Take advantage of paid media

With more people staying and working from home due to the pandemic, digital has become the least affected advertising medium, compared to radio ads, print ads, and billboards. Businesses are continuing to cut their spend on traditional marketing and are allocating their marketing budget towards paid media advertising to acquire more customers and compete with other businesses now sharing the same digital platforms.

Here are some more social media advertising trends to look out for.

10. Update your personas

As mentioned before, consumer behavior has changed quite a bit since the start of the pandemic. Reevaluate and align your target personas using Google Analytics and Facebook’s Audience Insights to ensure your current audience is still inline with your target personas. You made need to update your personas to match your 2021 business strategy or vice versa. 

Check out this article for tips on how to review your audience behavior metrics to see if you need to update your digital strategy to reflect new consumer habits. 

11. Creat content people are searching for

Take a look at your SEO and Google Analytics data to see what topics and keywords consumers in your industry are searching for. Create new blogs and resources based on those topics, or update your current highly searched blogs to include more helpful and relevant information. Remember to focus on the human connection instead of selling your product. If you create strong helpful content, you’ll likely gain more credibility and trust with your potential customers.

12. Use personalization

Engage with your prospects by sending them targeted relevant messages based on the data you’ve gathered from them. You can personalize your messages using the following information collected in your CRM: contact and demographic information, what webpages they’ve visited, which emails they’ve clicked, what resources they’ve downloaded, etc. 

86% of businesses have seen improvements in their business efforts due to personalization strategies. Here are a few methods to consider:

Continue to send relevant information about their interests: After a prospect subscribes or downloads a resource, continue to send additional information and resources based on their topics of interest to help move them through the stages of the Buyer’s Journey.

Address your prospects by name: Emails that personalize either the subject line or email message are more likely to open and click the email. And personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates.

13. Automate your tasks

With all these new strategies it’s important to automate as much as possible to help save you time and focus on higher-priority projects. Here are a few helpful tasks to automate:

Automate notifications: Anytime someone converts or sends you an email you can have emails alert you to follow-up.

Automate marketing emails: Schedule all of your marketing emails in advance to your selected contacts.

Automate social media posts: Schedule your social media posts on multiple platforms in advance.

Automate lead flow: If someone downloads a certain resource you can send them an automated email right away with a link to download that resource. And you can continue to send scheduled automated emails with additional information on that topic to help move them down the funnel.

Automate analytics reporting: Set up reports in Google Analytics and in your CRM to track consumer behavior.

14. Try new marketing tools

Try using various marketing tools to help streamline and optimize your marketing and sales efforts. Here are a few platforms to consider utilizing in 2021: CRM, CMS, marketing automation software, analytics and reporting software, and SEO optimization software to name a few.

Check out our Best Marketing Tools e-book for a comprehensive list of the marketing tools that we use and recommend at Pyxl.

15. Review your strategy and budget

The coronavirus pandemic has changed consumer behavior, and therefore changed the way we reach our consumers. Take a look at your marketing metrics from this past year to understand what worked and what didn’t work. Make the necessary improvements and incorporate the new strategies mentioned above in your 2021 digital strategy

Be sure to update your marketing budget to accommodate the tools and strategies needed for 2021 and check out our 2021 Marketing Budget Templates to start planning your spending.

Don’t have the time or bandwidth?

After reviewing this list of strategies to consider incorporating into your 2021 digital strategy, it’s time to think about what’s actually possible for your business. If you don’t have the time or resources you may consider outsourcing your time-consuming or highly-skilled marketing projects to a digital marketing agency to help. 

Here are some of the top benefits to why businesses outsource to a digital agency.

Partner with Pyxl

Need help incorporating some of these digital strategies into your 2021 marketing plan? Take a look at our blog for tips on How to Create a Digital Strategy, or contact your digital experts at Pyxl to get started. We’ll work with you to create and successfully execute a digital strategy that can take your business to the next level in 2021. 

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

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