2020 was a difficult year for the majority of Australian businesses. Constant border closures, lockdowns and social distancing rules made it difficult for businesses to make a huge profit from their customers.   

Here are some tips to help improve your marketing strategy in a way that will build more meaningful relationships with your customers in 2021.   

Establish your goals  

When trying to develop an effective marketing strategy to help grow your business it is important to define what areas of your business you wish to improve via your marketing strategy.  Do you want to increase your number of followers on your social media platforms? Do you wish to drive more traffic to your website or maximise your SEO optimisation? increase sales or expand your customer demographics?  

It is a good idea to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely). Choose a specific goal and focus on achieving it. As soon as you start seeing traction, start pursuing another marketing related goal.  

Satisfying your customers should be your top priority

Whilst it is important to take note of what your competitors are doing, it should always be a top priority to make sure that your products and services are exceeding your customers expectations.

You can gain insight into your customers by personalising your services and encouraging them to provide you with feedback by leaving reviews or completing surveys.

Rather than investing large amounts of energy into worrying about what your competitors are doing, focus that energy into creating a marketing strategy that encourages your customers to talk about your products in a positive manner online to give your products more exposure to a bigger audience.

When observing your competitors, it would be wise to critically evaluate their business and marketing approach and how your brand differentiates from their brand. Ask yourself what are your competitors are doing well? What isn’t working for them? How do they compare to your brand in terms of price and offering?   

Establish your brand’s purpose and positioning  

Once you know your customers and competitors, you should focus on your unique selling point. This can be accomplished by using your marketing strategy to focus on the things that make you stand out from the rest of your competitors.

Ask yourself: what’s the most important part of your business that your competitors cannot offer their customers?   

In 2021, customers want to purchase from businesses that not only provide exceptional products, but also from businesses that are socially responsible. Brands who are socially aware by practicing sustainability, inclusion and diversity always have an advantage over businesses who don’t do this.

To make sure your business remains ahead of your competition, think about your customers’ values and where your business values align. Double down on them, and consequently you will create more meaningful connections with potential customers.  

Use Social Media More Strategically

Social media is an excellent place to gather data about your customers that can be utilised to enhance your relationship with them. By utilising social media to tell a captivating story you humanise your business and sound less desperate to make a sale. Businesses should aim to use social media with the intention of building an online community that is passionate about the products you sell. 

The best way to entice your customers to purchase your product through social media is to create a call to action by posting content that is either humorous, educational, entertaining or evokes strong emotion. It is important to share content that adds value to your customers life and most importantly entices your social media followers to join the conversation around your products by leaving comments and sharing your content with their friends.

Host Events and Give Back To Your Community – Hosting your own event can provide you with an excellent opportunity to get to know your customers and build better relationships. It would be a great idea to invite some of your most loyal existing customers and encourage them to bring their friends. Building brand awareness within your local community is a great way for small businesses to attract to new customers. Consider sponsorship or participating in a community event is a great way to give your business more exposure. Utilising cross-promotion with another small business in your local community is another excellent strategy to help your business reach new customers whilst at the same time helping support another local business.

Experiment, test and measure  

The tools and technology that businesses use to promote themselves in constantly changing. It would be a great idea to test new ways of marketing. You can try changing your tone in communications, experiment with new channels or different social media platforms or try to target a different audience.

When embarking on a change make sure you establish a measurement framework for your marketing activity. For example; 20 percent growth in web traffic or 30 percent increase in Instagram likes.

Be strategic in assessing the short, medium and long-term impact. As you learn what works for your customers and your brand, you can advance and evolve your marketing tactics.