On February 25th, 2021 new hosted our very first Goodish Show on optimizing your digital marketing strategy in 2021 where we addressed the market adaptation to the word-wide pandemic in 2020, addressed pressing digital marketing topics of today, and provided some of our biggest tips for growing your brand in 2021.
How 2020 has Changed the Marketing Landscape
2020 gave a real boost to digital marketing. According to the data source world research center on average US companies have increased their marketing budget (ie. social media, search display) by 20% while traditional media has decreased by 20% on average. Influenced by the covid pandemic, people had to stay at home, providing digital platforms a real boost. In fact, research shows that in the US an astounding 35% of all products sold in 2020 were bought online (up from 20% according to the year before).
As a consequence of the pandemic, people feel concerned going into restaurants, cinemas, and other public places forcing most restaurants to now offering deliveries. Hence, companies are not only adjusting their budgets but changing their entire strategy including their business models.
How 2020 Changed the SaaS Market
This also applies to SaaS companies as even though we’ve seen a rise of purchases on digital platforms, most companies have been forced to pivot their businesses. As people were forced to stay at home, SaaS companies had to adjust their sales funnel to be fully digital. Many companies reported that making sales during this period is much harder. As some economists are speculating, the pandemic might be followed by an economic crisis, which will again lead to companies cutting more costs, making sales even harder.
Where we really see opportunities for SaaS companies specifically, positioning themselves as experts in their field is a great strategy to achieve growth. Many innovative companies are already utilizing their social media to create a community engagement, providing platforms where their users can talk about the issues that they’re facing, meaning the companies can address them as soon as they arise.
What we need to keep in mind is that SaaS companies have relatively long sales cycles, with the onboarding process serving a crucial role. Their user journeys usually include finding a lead, making a connection, qualifying them, then offering free content (ie. free demos), overcoming objections, and closing the sale. The tipping point is when you reach the stage of product qualified lead which is the moment when your user understands the product and knows how to use it well. After that, you can try and sell them your product using case studies, free trials, chat, videos, etc.
These processes can now be really personalized, providing specific tools and mediums to specific leads gently pushing them to complete their customer journey. As most events happen in-app, you can use tools such as a hotspot map, chatbot, in-app push notification, etc.
When positioning your brand think about what content will serve what purpose. For instance, if you’re looking for brand engagement, building communities on social media and SEO are both very important.
Optimizing Your Digital Marketing Strategy in 2021
The Value of SEO in 2021
For most companies the first reaction to the covid pandemic was to adapt their budget, steering away from traditional media and investing in the digital. Now we’re seeing that this isn’t just a short-term adjustment but a long-term strategy. As more companies focus on advertising online we can see the rise in importance of various digital tools.
For instance, in 2019 there was a lot of talk about the death of SEO. The idea behind it was that as most e-commerce companies would make great sales with simple social media ads. So, what’s the point of a fully optimized site? Now that many small e-commerce sites have started using this Facebook Ads strategy for their sales, this way of selling has become very saturated. Hence, ranking for the industry-specific keywords that bring you free organic traffic seems very relevant if not crucial for your digital marketing strategy in 2021. Furthermore, as the market becomes increasingly saturated and competition increases, companies need to consider their long-tail keyword strategies to ensure growth.
Market Segmentation Tips
Understanding your audiences is very important as well. While their demographic and psychological data is important for ie. an awareness campaigns, nothing beats examining how your users use your product. Try segmenting your audiences based on their in-app/on-page behaviour, ie. blog readers, frequent visitors, heavy or occasional users, (re)turned customers etc., based on how they interact with your app/site. This will allow you to create processes for your specific audiences, enabling you to optimise your sales process.
Use Data to Your Advantage
We’ve seen a huge increase in companies seeing the importance of making data-driven decisions in recent years. Data can quickly indicate where are your sales funnel leaking, but your solutions still have to be creative (base them on the responses you received from your users). The technology is at the stage where we can really track every step of the sales process, so why not use this information in your favor? Making data-driven decisions should be a part of your brand’s digital marketing strategy in 2021 as it will significantly increase the chances of continuous success.
Using data in the area of privacy concerns
As we know, the upcoming iOS 14 Apple update limits data tracking significantly. As user concerns for privacy arise, our access to data becomes limited. But from what we’ve learned, you’ll still able to see most of the Events and Conversions in your Google Analytics. These changes are mostly minor and shouldn’t have a big impact on your business at large. It simply means that companies will have to become more transparent in how they’re using one’s data. Even if a large portion of your users don’t provide you with permission to collect their data, as a company you can still conduct interviews, data testings, and more. So even though collecting data might become harder, there’s always a way to work around it.
Use Content to Your Advantage
A solid content marketing strategy is still a great way to establish your authority on the market, whether it’s blog posts, podcast, webinar and video tutorials, etc. Anything you can provide to your clients for free is valuable. Your brand will be perceived as friendly, creative, or educational which will support both, your brand and sales cycle. We’re noticing that Google will also start focusing more on visual content, releasing a new version in May 2021 that will detect and feature the page’s main visual and showcase it in the search results.
The Power of Social Media Communities
The point of any branding and digital marketing strategy in 2021 is to create a pool of loyal clients. But lets be honest, everything is a top priority when starting a company. From marketing your product, to building a community on social media, polishing your product etc. But remember, its always better to have 10 loyal clients that love your product/service than 100 clients that think you’re just OK. These will be your main brand stakeholders and can provide you with their feedback which is powerful beyond imagination.
Approach your social media community proactively and talk to them about what they like and what their main pinpoints concerning your are. Focus on creating a social media community that doesn’t only communicate with your brand but also amongst its community members by posting relevant topics and addressing them directly. Your brand community will in time organically begin to promote your brand/service without you having to do much.
Finally, you don’t have to be better than your competition you just have to be different. Don’t get wrapped up into what your competition is doing as your company would have to be quite big for you to have an issue with your competitors. Rather, let your competitors to be your inspiration and a source of knowledge.
If you’re looking for marketing companies for small businesses look no further! We at Goodish – the ultimate SaaS Digital Marketing Agency will be more than happy to discuss your brand’s digital marketing strategy in 2021. Your first consultation is free so don’t hesitate to get in touch!