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Top 8 Digital Marketing Tips and Practices for 2021

The pandemic has only amplified our reliance on digital platforms that allow us to connect with others.

According to a 2018 study, 39% of individuals are more likely to trust and form an emotional bond with brands that they’ve interacted with on social media. This connection is especially necessary to reach a younger audience. People don’t want to be solely treated as consumers willing to pay for a service or product. They want to feel valued, seen, and heard.

This is why curating a digital marketing strategy tailored to your target audience is crucial to our business’s success. For many businesses, marketing channels such as social media serve as a direct line to their consumer base. With the new technology and tools available in 2021, there are a variety of ways to foster meaningful relationships with your consumer base.

This article will provide the best tips and practices to cultivate these relationships, including how to leverage data and analytics to improve your marketing strategy.

1. Personalized and Interactive Social Media Content

The type of social media content and strategy you decide to pursue sets the tone for how you relate to your audience. Everyone wants to feel special, right? So a one-size-fits-all model may not be the best approach to forming a strong consumer-brand bond. Figure out what your consumers like, the type of content they engage with, the market trends, demographic information, etc.

A great example of a brand that has mastered the art of creating personalized, interactive content is the NBA. The NBA tailors its content not only to their audience but the specific social platform. For example, their Twitter account is primarily used to post important news and updates. In contrast, the 10.6 million people that follow the NBA’s TikTok account want to see content such as short and funny clips that align with current viral trends.

This demographic also loves feeling like they are a part of a fun community, so calls to action are an important practice that every brand should implement in their marketing strategy. For example, if you sell accessories, create a challenge where your customers post online pictures and videos of how they accessorize their best looks. From contests to hashtag challenges, you want to keep your audience engaged and enthusiastic about your brand.

2. Leverage Technology and Analytics

Nowadays, you have access to all types of data, information, and key performance indicators (KPIs) that can elevate your digital marketing strategy. This is why companies spend millions conducting market research and competitive analysis to determine the best marketing approach and target audience.

These analytics make the process of maximizing your brand reach and return on investment (ROI) more efficient. If you’re a subscription-based business, for example, you can figure which subscription plans are more popular, determine better price points, and so much more.

Below are some essential tools and KPIs to establish an analytical infrastructure and improve your marketing strategy:

  • Social Media Management

    • Content calendar that streamlines the scheduling and posting of content on various social media networks

    • Access post performance and engagement rates (likes, comments, retweets, etc.)

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

    • Track customer response rate and time to improve customer service experience

    • Access demographic information

    • Measure customer satisfaction and determine areas of improvement

  • Reputation Management

    • Customer referrals

    • Customer lifetime value (CLV)

    • Estimated market share

    • Net promoter score

  • Content Marketing

    • SEO

    • PPC

    • Lead generation, web traffic, user behavior

3. Influencer Marketing

Ready to hop on this new wave? The rise of influencers in this digital age is your opportunity to reach people you wouldn't have been able to access before. Whether their followers use TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook, these popular figures are the link between your brand and its consumer base.

People trust influencers and therefore trust the messages they put out there. If you can forge partnerships with brand advocates, they can serve as your mouthpiece and present your brand identity to people who can resonate with it.

These types of partnerships have always been one of the most effective and affordable marketing strategies. Companies like Pepsi and Chipotle do it all the time and they’re thriving because of it.

4. Enhance the Customer Experience

How you interact with your clients is a reflection of how much you care about them, so show them that you care. Listen to their wants and needs to improve customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

Here are a few ways to maintain a positive relationship with your customers:

  • Boost Your Customer Response Rate and Time

  • Provide Feedback Surveys

  • Facilitate friendly and meaningful interactions

    • Offer free consultations

    • Establish efficient forms of communication

  • Engage on Social Media

    • Respond to Instagram DMs, tweets, FB messages, etc.

  • Send Out Consistent Emails, Newsletters, and Updates

5. Improve Convenience and Accessibility

From your website to your social media accounts, make sure that your customers or clients can access your products or services conveniently and efficiently. People live fast-paced lives and appreciate any opportunity to save time.

For example, you can automate your communication systems, such as setting up an online calendar for people to book meetings or calls. Furthermore, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. If you visited your website or social media page, would you find it easy to access the information you need? Refine and optimize your web or page design by making it easier to read, navigate, and access on different devices (i.e. mobile-friendly websites and apps).

Additionally, in terms of content marketing, create easy-to-consume content. Short and engaging videos, for instance, are so popular because they’re quick and get straight to the point. Overall, be cognizant of your consumer base's time and build trust by making their lives easier.

6. Networking & Affiliate Marketing

Networking is a personal favorite of mine because aligning myself with the right people was instrumental when I started my own business.

Always sell the value and potential of your brand to anyone who will listen. You want to forge relationships with people and brands who can not only provide practical business support and resources but exposure as well. This exposure is especially beneficial if you have a new business and want to attract more customers and clients.

It may be beneficial to do some asset mapping and figure out which people and brands have access to the target audiences you want to market to. Through word-of-mouth and affiliate marketing, influencers and brands can promote your business on their digital platforms. While this method may require some time and money, it has proven to be effective in increasing lead generation and customer acquisition.

7. Email Marketing

I don’t think most of us put much thought into all these emails we receive from our favorite brands, but they really can elevate a brand’s marketing efforts. In 2020, Shopify found that the value of email marketing more than doubled from $16 to $33. And during large online events like Cyber Monday, email contact outperformed social media and other channels.

If you are going to start an email marketing campaign, just remember to make the content personalized and engaging. No one wants a generic advertising pitch that doesn’t add value to their life. Last but not least, be consistent with your email contact whether that’s through routine newsletters or messages.

8. Create Genuine Connections with Innovative Ideas

What is your brand’s vision? What meaning and purpose do you want to cultivate? Knowing and understanding your ‘why’ will help you stand out among your competitors. And if you can share an authentic story that people can identify with, they will feel that long-term emotional bond and trust we discussed earlier.

But what are some ways to build this connection? Don’t be scared to get fun and creative with your ideas. Here are a few for some inspiration:

  • Start a Blog

    • Give advice and share personal experiences

  • Live Stream

    • This type of interaction is a great way to authentically connect with your audience (Q&As, storytimes, announcements, etc.)

  • Hashtag Challenges and Campaigns

    • Again, calls to action are awesome because they actively engage people and give them a chance to share their own stories.

  • Post Original and Engaging Visuals

    • vibrant infographics, cool videos, personalized photos

So are you ready to revamp your business’s marketing strategy? Hopefully, these 8 tips can help propel your brand reach. If you found this article useful, you can also subscribe to Marketing With Steph to receive more information on 5 Essential Online Marketing Strategies.

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