Remember when you were creating your marketing budget at the beginning of 2020? It seems so long ago, and life was very different then. By the middle of the year, just about everything we thought we knew about business and marketing had changed. Now that we’ve had a few months to settle into this tumultuous “new normal”, here are the things you’ll want to keep in mind as you adjust your budget expectations for this year.
The unexpected can and will happen. If there’s one thing we learned from 2020, it’s that everything can change overnight, and those changes can have far-reaching consequences for small businesses. It’s okay to hope for the best, but smart business owners will also plan for contingencies. If ever there was a time to set aside an emergency fund or budget a little extra for last-minute marketing pushes, that time is now.
Buyer journeys are changing. The way people shop has transformed dramatically over the past ten months, and due to widespread uncertainty, many are being more cautious with how they spend their money. That doesn’t mean spending has stopped, though – it’s simply happening in a different way. If you’re struggling to keep strong connections with your customers and audience during these times because they’re responding differently now, you’ll want to allocate more of your 2021 marketing budget to tools and tactics that will help diagnose the problem and drive new growth. Depending on your situation and niche, this could mean anything from expanding your analytics tools so that you can better understand the behaviors and needs of your visitors, to exploring new inbound marketing strategies to help attract and convert the appropriate audience for your products and services.
Online presence is more important than ever. With fewer people shopping in-person, e-commerce has exploded, but connecting with customers digitally is about more than just having a web-based sales portal. Every move you make online has to be focused on the goals of increasing brand awareness, building a loyal audience, and converting those views and conversations to sales and revenue. This means that more of your budget than ever will need to be designated for promotion and interaction on social channels, which could mean bringing in a photographer and videographer to create stunning visual content, or hiring freelance specialists to manage content creation and publishing. This is also a great time to assess and overhaul your website, with an emphasis on frictionless visitor experience, plus as much well-organized information as possible to educate visitors and establish your authority and expertise in the process.
Creating a budget that will work for your business can be difficult when the economic landscape is constantly changing. If you’d like a push in the right direction with some personalized tips to help your business succeed in 2021, contact us for a free consultation and we’ll help you get started!