To say that 2020 was unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetime would be an understatement. You know the spiel, the pandemic, lockdown, WFH, social distancing measures – oh, and let’s not forget the month where people were hoarding toilet paper. 

Uncertainty reigned, and as a result, the economic downturn pushed many businesses to close their doors. Fortunately, we adapted. The world began to adjust to this “new normal,” and many companies found stability by pivoting their stores into a new space: online. After a few months in lockdown, the way in which users shop, interact and communicate digitally began to evolve as well. 

It’s difficult to predict how the pandemic will continue to impact us in the future. We can hope that the vaccine gods expedite the process, but as it stands, we’re going to maintain this new normal (at least) until the summer of 2021. To prepare for what’s to come, we’ve distilled a couple of learnings for businesses adapting to the digital space to consider within their 2021 marketing strategies. 

It’s not enough to simply “be” online.  

According to COVID-19 consumer studies by Deloitte, 52% of Canadians are now more likely to buy online than through brick-and-mortar stores. This percentage is expected to rise as the pandemic wears on. This rise is why investing in an e-commerce website may be a good option for susceptible businesses. 

However, investing in an online store is only the first step. Your website or online store must be user-friendly, easy-to-use and most importantly, searchable. Namely, your website should appear on the search engine result pages–like Google, if a potential customer is searching for a product or services related to your business. 

Businesses need to be aware that delving into the digital realm means that you are competing in a larger pool; therefore, it is necessary to ensure that your website ranks for product-specific keywords to reach your customers organically. 

To learn more about how your customers search for you and how to optimize your website’s content for SEO, click here

It is essential to recognize that this is only one facet of your online presence. Excellent customer engagement and conversions come from diversifying your channels and pursuing omni-channel marketing strategies. Omni-channel marketing refers to delivering a consistent and unified experience to users across all channels and devices. Virtually, it ensures that if a user moves between your Facebook and your website, the user’s experience between the channels is seamless. Pursuing these strategies allows for brand recollection, loyalty, and it provides a space for your customers to engage with you. 

Focus on community and value-based messaging 

It’s no secret that this past year content consumption on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or Tiktok was at an all-time high. Users were building connections during a time when meeting others was discouraged. So much so that these platforms transformed and were used to foster community, educate and inform others of social movements worldwide. 

When addressing your social platforms, focus on building a community. Don’t shy away from engaging with your users and stimulate conversations; it doesn’t have to be political or advocatory in any form. However, it is recommended to release content that provides inherent value to your customer not only because you have content to share. 

Where do I start? 

These lessons may be great starting points to get the conversation going for your 2021 marketing strategies. However, we recognize that each business is different–at different stages of digital adoption, with unique challenges and ambitions. If you are looking for guidance, please reach out. We’d be happy to support you on your digital journey.