2021 is just around the corner and, if you haven’t already begun, now is the time to prepare your marketing strategy to grow your business throughout the coming year.
Start by grabbing a copy of our free comprehensive Industrial Job Shop Marketing Guide. The guide goes over some easy strategies you can incorporate into any budget as well as walks you through the process of generating more qualified leads for your industrial manufacturing company.
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2021 Digital Marketing Planning & Check List
In order to plan out your 2021 marketing strategy, you need to take some time to review your 2020 marketing efforts and overall sales. This year was rather unique, to say the least, so you will need to take that into consideration as you look over your numbers and plan for another year.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself, or your team, to get you started:
- What worked and what didn’t work in 2020?
- Did you reach any of your target goals?
- How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect your sales? Have you recovered? What will need to happen in order to recover and move forward?
- Has your market shifted in the past year due to the pandemic? If so, how does that affect what you offer?
Once you have analyzed what did and did not work in 2020 it is time to brainstorm and build your 2021 marketing plan. What are your sales and growth goals for 2021? Due to the ongoing pandemic, you will need to incorporate a few new strategies to achieve your goals this coming year. What new tools and tactics will you employ?
Here are some key areas you should focus on for growth in 2021:
-Lead Nurturing and Follow-Up
Do you know what to do with the leads you generate from ads or calls to action on your website? Does your team consistently follow-up on every qualified lead? Did you get any leads this year that have not been acted upon? Do you have a consistent company-wide message for these leads? Consistent incoming leads are incredibly important for sustained growth. Obtaining new leads as well as following up on them should be prioritized. Take the time to plan out and ongoing follow up process to help keep your company in your customer’s thoughts so when they are ready to purchase they think of you first.
-Email Campaigns / Regular Newsletters
Do you currently send monthly newsletters to your customers? Is the content relevant and helpful to them? Are your newsletters solving client pain-points or are you using them simply to push your marketing messages? You should be sending out a monthly newsletter filled with useful information for your customers as well as any company announcements.
-Social Media Presence
Are you utilizing social media platforms? Are your customers engaged with your brand? How effective has your social media strategy been? Are there platforms that you aren’t using that your competitors are? Is the content focused on your customer’s needs & does it help provide solutions for their pain points? Social media was always a great place for your company to showcase itself but this year it became an absolute necessity. You need to post to each of your social accounts at least a few times a week, if not daily. You also need to be sure to answer any feedback, comments, and shares your posts receive.
-Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Does your company utilize PPC ads? Where did you run PPC ads this year? Did your ads generate the business that you wanted? Did the campaigns deliver the right type of visitors to your website? What new platforms do you want to test out in 2021 (LinkedIN, YouTUBE, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)? SEM or Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns are one of the most cost-effective ways to get your website in front of prospective customers. These campaigns need to be regularly monitored and should be reviewed quarterly in order to make changes that could make them perform better.
-Regular Content Creation
Do you have a content creation strategy? Is the content focused on your customer’s needs? Is the content helping to provide solutions for your customers? As an industrial job shop, your primary objective is to be that optimized solution provider for your customers by helping them get their job done with the greatest degree of expertise that makes them look good. You are selling your ability to solve a specific problem for an engineer and their team using your particular products, manufacturing methods, and expertise. To that end you need to be consistently publishing new useful content for your customers to consume. Content such as eBooks, white papers, blog posts, videos, social media posts, and more.
-Video Content Creation
Is video content part of your current marketing strategy? Video is by far one of the most effective content marketing vehicles used today. They grab attention, inform, help generate leads, and establish you as a leader in your industry.
Have you done any webinars for your company? Have you considered adding them to your 2021 marketing plans? The COVID-19 pandemic really boosted the popularity of webinars and just about every industry is now taking full advantage of these awesome marketing tools. They are highly engaging, interactive, and provide recorded media that you can use in other ways (see video content creation above) once the webinar has concluded.
Are you interested in exhibiting at a virtual show? Do you know the best virtual tradeshows for your industry? In-person tradeshow experiences typically offer marketing value that is unique and singular, however as we have seen in 2020, and as the pandemic continues into 2021, in-person tradeshows may or may not be do-able. Have you tried any of the virtual shows that became popular in 2020? Virtual tradeshows are becoming a very valuable source for seeking out information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends, and products or services. The key to a successful virtual trade show is to engage your prospects in new, thoughtful, interesting, entertaining, and exciting ways. To really drive home your message and gain new business interest you really need to build influence around yourself, your company, your product, or your service offering. You can host a virtual show alone or team up with other like-minded companies that would attract a similar audience to conduct a mini virtual show.
-Your Company Website’s Design & Content
When was the last time you updated your website? How is the design holding up? Is it outdated? Is the messaging still relevant to your company’s goals? Is it easy for users to navigate the site and find what they need? Do you have any calls to action on your website? Do you have any lead capture mechanisms other than your contact page? Do you have a blog on your website? Are you utilizing chat bots? Website trends are constantly changing and your site really needs to change with them. You should update your site’s look at least every 2 years.
-Backend Website Maintenance
Do you have an SSL certificate installed on your site? Are you employing a website security platform for automatic malware scanning and removal? Do you have an automatic backup platform added to your website hosting? When was the last time it was fully backed up? What platform is your site running on? When was the last time it was updated? To keep your site secure and functioning properly you need to keep on top of your site’s security, updates, and backups. It is recommended to check at least once every 3 months for any critical updates.
-Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Has your website been optimized for SEO? Where does your website rank in search engines? Does your business have an up-to-date, fully-populated Google My Business and/or Bing Local listing? What other sites is your website linked to? Are you placing content on other sites with back links to your own site? Along with regular monitoring of the design, functionality, and safety of your website you also need to be sure that your site is showing up where you want it to in search engines. You should review this quarterly as well.
Are you tracking all traffic to your website? Do you know where your best customers are coming from? Once you get them to your site, are they clicking through to the pages you want them to? What is the bounce rate on your website? Tracking metrics on your site is the best way to know how your site is performing. These numbers also give you insights into your audience and the quality of your content.
The end of every year always brings a flood of new ideas and goals for the coming year. Take the time to review what worked and what didn’t in 2020, think about how limitations on in-person events may impact your marketing next year, and think about how you can incorporate virtual events, video, or other content creation to help you build your plan for 2021.
Quick 2021 Marketing Plan Checklist
- Proper Lead Gathering, Nurturing, & Follow-Up
- Email Campaigns / Regular Newsletters + Blog
- Social Media Channel Creation, Regular Posting, & Engagement
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) / Pay Per Click (PPC) Ad Campaigns
- Regular Content Creation & Sharing
- Video Creation, Posting, & Sharing
- Webinar Plans
- Tradeshow / Virtual Show Lists & Plans
- Website Design and/or Re-Design
- Security + Regular Website Backups & Maintenance
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Website Conversion Monitoring
Need assistance? Let us help!
With over 30 years of experience, The Rico Group specializes in helping industrial manufacturers and job shops grow their business and diversify their customer base. We know how engineers think and what they are looking for. We know your processes, equipment, and materials. We also know that you have very little time to take away from your production and getting your customer’s orders delivered.
Grow your business with better marketing with The Rico Group.