The second half of the year is a big time for marketers. With back-to-school and the holidays around the corner, this would normally be the time to plan your biggest campaigns of the year.
But 2021 is far from normal.
Marketers will have to make some tough decisions based on glaring facts about the coming months:
- Consumers are going to spend and travel far less this holiday season
- Much like consumers, businesses will be overhauling their budgets when government assistance finishes
Both of these factors are going to create an entirely new playing field for content marketing. And much of it will be based on cutting costs and lower projected income.
But a smaller budget and decreased spending does not mean you have to produce lower-quality content OR expect a lower ROI for your marketing spend—if you’re smart.
Here are some ways that creative firms are stretching their content marketing dollar in 2021.
Focus on Retention over Acquisition
Finding new customers is harder than keeping existing customers. And this is even more true in 2021.
Customers are already unlikely to switch their brand loyalties. And now that their money is scarce, they’ll be less likely to take these risks.
Use your content to speak to your existing customers. Scale back content targeting cold customers and instead create more content that:
- Adds perceived value: e.g. “10 unexpected uses of product.”
- Counters buyer’s remorse: e.g. personalize your follow-up emails.
- Upsells: e.g. hone your product pages to incentivize additional purchases
- >Shows appreciation: e.g. run a giveaway, or create customer profile pieces to post on your blog.
Make More Video Content
Stay-at-home orders and advisories have taken the demand for video content to new levels.
A study reported that about 64% of respondents said they would watch more YouTube if forced to stay at home due to COVID-19.
So, the time to make more videos is now. But how do you make videos when you need to social distance and save on the budget?
There are a number of ways to keep the videos coming without a crew or even a camera:
- Use stock footage: Buy some stock footage and edit it together with some royalty free music to make beautiful and effective videos quickly and affordably.
- Customer curated content: Run a giveaway or promotion challenging customers to create videos. Post the winners on your social media pages.
- Go live: Give a live update, tutorial, Q&A, or demonstration on Facebook or Instagram. Afterward, post the recording to your YouTube channel for more exposure.
Supercharge Your Social Media Presence
If there’s anything positive about the pandemic, it’s that you know exactly where to find your target. They’re all online, and they’re all on social media.
Polling has shown that about half of US adults are using social media more during the pandemic.
If you haven’t switched gears and given priority to social media marketing yet, do it now. Like, right now.
Overhaul your social media pages to amplify the personality of your brand instead of just using them as a conduit to your website. Work on your posting prowess and start interacting with your followers on a grassroots level.
Take Time to TikTok
As a content marketer, you’ve probably already heard of TikTok. But if you’ve been living under a rock, TikTok is the hottest new video-sharing social app, and it’s hugely popular with both Millennials and Gen Zs.
TikTok already has over 800 million users, and 90% of them use the app daily.
So, how can creating TikToks help your marketing budget?
TicToc just launched TicToc for businesses, and ads are reportedly much cheaper than they are on other social media outlets where you’d enjoy similar exposure.
Not only that, but TikTok is giving over $100M in ad credits to businesses recovering from the pandemic, so you might be able to reduce your costs even more if you’re eligible.
Bolster your SEO
Some of your competitors are going to let their SEO slide due to decreased income. This is an excellent opportunity for you to push your content up a few positions in the SERPs and grab some new keywords you only dreamed of ranking for.
Focus some of your content efforts on a blog audit so your previous publications will be in the best possible position once the economy starts rolling again.
2021 is Here and There’s No Going Back
You might feel like 2021 is an outlier year for marketing. Soon, it’ll all go back to the way it was before, so we shouldn’t make any big changes, right?
2021 will define how consumers live, shop, and interact for years to come, regardless of whether COVID-19 is conquered.
2021 is not an outlier, it’s a gateway—albeit not one big enough for all brands to pass through.
Treat the second half of 2021 as a jumping-off point for your post-COVID content marketing strategy and you’ll be better prepared to engage your target at any budget.