A shift in approach or more of the same?
Covid-19 has been tough for businesses across all sectors and has demonstrated just how reliant many companies are on digital communications, particularly engaging with customers during lockdown restrictions. Throughout the year, life has changed dramatically, and people have begun to look at things in a different way. Rapid refreshed thinking and flexibility has well and truly been put it into action!
With just a few weeks until 2021, here is our broad marketing outlook for the year ahead.
2020: the year a pandemic changed the world
2020 has certainly been a challenging year for all businesses, as firms adapt to serve and stay connected with their customers. It’s been a tough time for all and life is certainly different now to how any of us could have predicted this time last year.
It’s been quite the year…
2020 has provided a tremendous opportunity to ensure your digital communications are fit for purpose – from regular reliable email communications, newsletters and social media engagement.
We’ve learnt a lot of lessons throughout 2020 and ultimately believe our speed and flexibility to adapt quickly has been a small way of making a big difference for all our clients during this challenging time.
The way people work has changed and is likely to continue, with efficiencies found and remote working practices proving successful. The pandemic has in many ways sped up decision making.
The news of a vaccine in such a short time is great news but for now, the distancing situation is unlikely to change anytime soon and many large firms have stated that their working practices won’t go back to where they were pre-pandemic – with a work from anywhere culture being created overnight.
“Rob at Brand Brown has helped our business to communicate the ever changing advice required through COVID-19 to our brokers and customers. He has brought creativity and flair to what we needed to say throughout. Highly recommended.”
Laura High, Director – Yutree Insurance Ltd
Our top 10 tips of where to focus your marketing efforts in 2021
In 2021 we believe marketing plans are once again going to need to be flexible and we will continue to adapt to our client needs.
Focus on relevant and timely content.
We strongly believe that getting relevant messages out quickly when required attracts more attention from your clients and prospective audience than creating content for content’s sake. For example, for our insurance broker clients in 2021 we will continue to focus on delivering advice-led content connected to risks that a business may face. Giving your content personality also ensures that your messaging sounds genuine, and is in line with your company tone of voice, and overall brand. You want people to relate to what they read, in the same way they would if they picked up the phone or met a company representative face-to-face. It’s the same when it comes to creating content to be found on Google. Does your content answer a users search query? Ask yourself, does anyone ever look past page 1 of Google when searching? This must be your target goal for all key search queries.
Align your brand with like-minded businesses offering services or subjects that could be of interest to them. It’s also a good way of broadening your content and engaging with your network.
Get creative but be consistent.
A picture paints 1000 words, right? Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and visual content can in many cases get your message across without chunks and chunks of text. This year we’ve found design-led communications have been much more impactful when sharing key messages. It is also worth considering that visual search is a growing trend, with images returning 19% of search queries on Google.
Personalise your messages.
People want to feel that the content they see is relevant to themselves, at the right time. Personalisation is key and so is relevance.
How could your business use video?
You may have seen a rise in video content from all types of business, across various sectors. People like video because it offers a glimpse behind the scenes of a company. Think about how a video could work for your business, what you could share behind the scenes of your business, whether that be an insight into people, products or services. The rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels and Instagram TV shows the popularity of such content that we believe could result in more engagement and impressions of your business across social media channels.
People are scrolling, posting and engaging, more than ever – which is great for brands pushing messages out digitally and regularly. In a world where we are now constantly bombarded with information, it’s key that your business doesn’t become lost in the crowd. The public are more savvy than ever which brings us back to relevant and timely content. We’ve seen posts this year for example saying, ‘enjoy the sunshine’ whereas the sky couldn’t be more grey. This is a key reason as a business we do not embrace scheduling social content, as users want to see companies quick to react to news or trending issues – and provide up to date information just for them. They have already bought in to that ‘always-open’ brand. Scheduling content and social posts can become old news overnight (particularly this year!) and not relevant to the topics that week, so being current provides users with genuine fresh and unique content.
Referrals and reviews.
Customer feedback is key and can be used to share positive messages of reassurance. Have you done a really good job for someone this year? Ask them to recommend you to others. Google reviews, and reviews on online product pages encourages other users to feel that if they approached your business they would get a good service. This is of particular importance to businesses that are working remotely and not providing face-to-face customer service. Use social media to highlight great reviews, as well providing quick responses on Twitter, Facebook when your business is contacted. Your users can expose you and your company whether they are good or bad reviews, and it’s important to be readily contactable – and quick to respond to put any wrongs right, if necessary.
Build a strong brand based on trust.
Do you really know your customers? Why do they return year after year? Is it the people? Is it the product? Is it the experience? Is there more you could sell them? Are you communicating with them throughout the year? If you’re not – someone else is! Food for thought…
Email has made a comeback in 2020.
Not that it had gone away…but it’s certainly here to stay! Throughout 2020 we’ve certainly seen an increase in client email activity and a company’s digital profile is in some cases now the biggest brand touch point, as people continue to work remotely. A web site for many businesses is now a company’s shop window, and client e-newsletters and social media activity that links back to that site has arguably provided the most brand awareness.
Don’t D. I. Y!
With respect, focus on what you’re good at and save time. We are marketing experts and can help with so much more than just the above, in accordance with the specific needs of your business. Right now it’s very difficult to have a rigid marketing plan so it’s very important that your budget delivers on what you want to achieve to reach your audience. Please click here to see an overview of all our services.
The way people work has changed and provides the opportunity to rethink the way your business operates.
We believe that working closely together with businesses creates the fastest progress and delivers the most value. As the marketing landscape continues to shift, please do get in touch to see if we could potentially support or guide your marketing challenges in 2021.
As we reach the end of 2020 we would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients and everyone we work with for their continued support in helping Brand Brown to become a recognised, good value and flexible marketing alternative for businesses. The pandemic has taken on board many challenges but has also enabled us to demonstrate our flexibility and ability to respond quickly for businesses during this time.
We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and best wishes as we move ahead into 2021.