How to Audit Your Marketing Strategy for 2021 and Gain Better Results

July 5 2020
Phil Bedford Written by Phil Bedford

On average, people spend around 6 hours and 42 minutes online each day.

That information comes from the 2019 digital report created by Hootsuite and WeAreSocial. The same research indicates that every day, there are 1 million new internet users. A digital marketing strategy should be at the top of your list for growth in 2021.

However, the important thing that companies and marketing teams need to remember heading into the new decade is that marketing trends and strategies are constantly changing.

If you want to make sure that you’re reaching your target audience every year, you can’t just use the same old marketing campaign. You need to ensure that you’re on the cutting edge of a strategy that really works for your brand.

So, how can you do that?

A digital marketing audit could be the perfect solution. If you want to continue into 2021 with confidence, it’s a good idea to take some time out to review your goals for 2020, compile some data, and figure out what you’re going to do in the year ahead. Here are some steps to get you started.

Step 1: Review your current strategy
The first step in any successful digital marketing audit is examining your current strategy. Since your marketing needs to be viewed as an ecosystem that constantly flows together, it’s important to take a step back and review everything in your plan, and the kind of goals you’re achieving.

Ask yourself:

· What niche markets and audiences are we targeting? Are we leaving anything out that we could be looking into?

· Does each of our services/products have a unique selling point? Do customers know about what makes us special, and do we clearly state our values in our marketing?

· What are our competitors doing? Are there any strategies in their campaigns that we can imitate and improve?

· Which of our marketing efforts are doing well, and which are failing? Where are we getting our highest ROI?

These questions will help you to determine where your focus and your budget should be going as you head into 2021. Using the information that you gather; you’ll be able to see the big picture of your ecosystem’s health and uncover how quickly you’re moving towards your marketing goals.

Step 2: Assess your marketing mediums
Once you’ve looked at your overall strategy, you can begin to diver into the deeper and more granular levels of your marketing campaigns. Buyers and researchers in the digital landscape all have preferences about where they do their research before making a sale.

Just because you’re actively creating blogs for your website doesn’t mean that you’re attracting the widest selection of customers. It might be time to consider other mediums, particularly if your competitors and clients are already active on other channels. In 2020, make sure you consider:

· Video: Video content is projected to make up 82% of all internet traffic by the end of 2020. From live video to aerial footage, make sure that you have a way to capture your audience’s attention.

· Email: It might not be the newest marketing medium, but it’s still one of the most valuable. Email allows companies to build and nurture relationships with their target audience over time, allowing for multiple conversion opportunities.

· Social media: Don’t just stick to Facebook and Twitter in 2020. Make sure that you’ve considered alternative options like Instagram and Snapchat too.

Find out where your customers spend their time online and make sure that your business is as easy to find as possible. For some companies, this could even mean investing in new strategies, like answering questions on Quora or creating their own smartphone app.

Step 3: Update your website
No matter how modern you think your website is, you could probably benefit from updating it at least once per year. The reasons for this are numerous. First of all, the preferences of your audience when it comes to things like website design trends are constantly changing. The widget-filled websites of 2009 are nothing close to the minimalist and clean sites you saw in 2019.

At the end of each year, ask yourself whether your site still looks modern and professional compared to what you see from your competitors.

At the same time, when you’re updating the design of your site, you can ensure that your navigation is up to scratch. Remember that you should be focusing on giving your audience the best possible experience whenever they visit your site. A secure and simple path from the home page through to the checkout is essential.

Make sure that your website is ready for evolving technology in the landscape too. Consider looking into the benefits of dynamic content for the rise of 5G focused design. See how you can upgrade your website with chatbots and tools prepared for voice search. This will keep you one step ahead of the competition.

Step 4: Strengthen your plan for SEO
After you’ve finished updating how your website looks and operates with design tools, you can think about how your site performs in terms of search engine rankings. With a little luck, your rank will have gone up significantly in the last year, thanks to the production of regular high-quality content.

However, as you may already know, the Google algorithms are constantly changing. To ensure that you can keep competing in 2020 and 2021, you’ll need to ensure that you’re up-to-date.

Ask yourself whether you can enhance your SEO campaign to concentrate more on things like a smart speaker and voice search. Semantic and long-tail keywords are likely to become increasingly important in 2021, with the rise of things like Alexa and Google Home.

Additionally, evaluate your domain authority and repair any backlinks that are no longer contributing to the growth of your site’s reputation. A digital marketing audit is an excellent opportunity to clean up any issues with your SEO campaign.

Step 5: Begin planning your content strategy
Usually, a consideration of SEO will lead naturally to you and your team thinking about content marketing. Content has changed drastically over the years, but it’s still something that virtually every business relies on to drive results for their marketing campaigns.

Today, content comes in all shapes and sizes. You can create long-form articles that guide your customers through an explanation of how to do something important. You can also experiment with newer solutions like podcasting, streaming videos, and social media ads.

As you head into 2021, find out which kinds of content are already delivering results for your teams. Additionally, ask yourself whether it might be a good idea to look at other kinds of content based on what competitors in your sector are doing. If everyone else in your niche is using video, it might be time for you to consider exploring the benefits too.

Alternatively, you may want to do something entirely different to your competitors to make sure that you can stand out. For instance, instead of video, maybe you could translate your most popular blogs and articles into podcasts?

Step 6: Embrace the power of transparency
The answers to just about everything are on the internet today. Yet there are still a considerable number of companies that are fighting to keep information about their brand a secret.

As you conduct your digital marketing audit for 2020, make sure that you spend some time to assess how transparent your company is. If you’re not putting information about your pricing, values, and operations on your website, then your customers will find it elsewhere, and use your shady behavior against you.

Focus on building out your website pages with more information about you, your products, and what you do. At the same time, concentrate on leveraging as much customer feedback and as many reviews as possible.

Make it easy for people to see how happy other customers have been after receiving your products and services. This will instantly remove some of the anxiety that your consumers feel when they’re deciding whether or not to buy from you. Additionally, reviews can play directly into your ability to rank with Google too. 2020 could be the ideal time to create a strategy for gaining feedback through reviews, Facebook comments, and more.

Are You Ready for 2021?
Auditing your entire business marketing strategy each year might seem like a lot of work, and a lot of effort – but it’s worth the time. Ultimately, the marketing industry as we know it is continually changing. Customers are demanding more from businesses than ever before, and the landscape is becoming more intelligent, data-driven and competitive.

Conducting an audit before you begin your 2021 marketing strategy could be the perfect way to make sure that you know where you are today, so you can better plan the path towards your goals. Once you know what your strategies are for 2021 and what worked for you in 2019-20, you can make sure that you’re on the right track to stay ahead of both the competition, and your customer’s demands.

While it does take time to work through all your content, and track down the results of all your campaigns, you’ll have the tools that you need to get better ROI from your marketing efforts in 2021.

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