We’re well into the first month of the year, which means there’s still time to set your marketing strategy for 2021. While there might not be “official” rules to magically make your marketing materials a success, these are some tried and true tactics to help you get the results you’re seeking. While every business is different, there are some strategies that work for everybody. So write these down, print them out and remind yourself weekly to follow these 10 golden rules for marketing success in the coming year.
1. Know Thy Customer
Your customers are the reason you’re in business. But do you know who it is that you’re truly serving? Try this exercise to see how much you know about your typical customer. Sit down with your team to develop persona types. Define their age, gender, interests, hobbies and anything else you can think to dream up. This will help as you write marketing materials. Personas can determine the tone of voice, language you use and so much more.
2. Use What You Know
Branching out is a great idea, but you should never forget the product or service that has gotten you to this point. Ask yourself what’s worked well in the past. Then take it a step further and ask yourself why marketing was particularly successful for a product or service. Do more of the things you’re good at in 2021 for continued success.
3. Invest in Thy Website
A website could make or break your business. That may sound extreme, but it’s entirely true. A website in the 21st century is a source of credibility. If you make it easy to purchase or take next steps, your chances of success skyrocket. Invest in a clean, functional design that leaves no roadblocks to convert a brand new customer. Make the checkout experience seamless, or the process of contacting you easy.
4. Always Use a CTA
CTA stands for “call to action.” There are various types of actions you could want your end-users to take, from “Shop Now” to a simple “Learn More.” Think of your CTA as next steps. While you might think it’s obvious what your audience should do after interacting with your marketing materials, that’s not always the case. Be clear and state exactly what you want them to do.
5. Reevaluate Thy Plans
There’s no shame in changing your game. In order for your business to succeed, you must constantly reevaluate what is working and what is not. Take failed campaigns in stride and try to get to the bottom of the failure. Don’t be afraid to poll your audience to see what they liked and what they didn’t.
6. Simplify Thy Message
Your business has a lot to say, but be careful not to let your excitement take over. Your audience needs a clear, concise message. Choose the most compelling tidbits of information to capture their attention, and consider saving the rest for another campaign. In this case, less is more.
7. Avoid PR Blunders
This one sounds like a no-brainer, yet tons of brands make this mistake year after year. The best way to avoid PR mistakes is to air on the side of caution. The person or people in charge of your social media presence should be those with good judgement. Your marketing materials should go through a vetting process. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
8. Try Something New
You’ll never know unless you try. While you should stick to the tried and true tactics that got you to where you are today, trying something new could be a gamechanger. Consider a new website design, a new social media platform or a completely new marketing strategy.
9. Ask the Right Questions
Lifelong learners are often great entrepreneurs. That’s because they know that learning is never done, and there are always improvements to be made. Question whether your marketing tactics are truly working. Ask your customers how you’re doing. Gather feedback every chance you can, and then use the feedback to get better.
10. Go with the Flow
What works for one business may not work for another. Plans change. Pandemics happen, even. There is no possible way to plan for what the future holds, so the best your business can do is remember to be flexible and agile. When life throws a curveball at you, remember to pivot when needed.
While we can’t guarantee a home run with every marketing campaign, sticking to these golden rules is sure to help you improve your odds of success. By developing clear, concise and creative campaigns, 2021 is sure to be your year. Get out there and put these golden rules into action!