2020 was a year filled with wrenches — wrenches thrown into our social lives, our budgets, and our marketing plans. Keeping an eye on the latest news, it looks like more wrenches are inbound for 2021 — especially for marketers. From the FTC’s lawsuit against Facebook, to Apple’s release of an iOS update that could complicate personalized advertising, we’re all a little on edge.
Steady Your 2021 Plan
Create a strong and steady foundation for your 2021 marketing plan by diversifying your efforts. Any good financial advisor will tell you — to protect yourself from negative impact when the market shifts, diversify. The old adage “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” applies to marketing now more than ever. If your audience-expansion, sales-driving, or lead-generation efforts are focused primarily on one specific platform, you could find yourself unexpectedly at the mercy of that platform.
Primary Platform Dangers
Let’s look at TikTok, for example. The app has had a meteoric rise in 2020 and led to many successful marketing campaigns. But, things were very touch-and-go for TikTok at times — like when the app was nearly banned in the US. Though the ban never actually happened, new competition started to come out of the woodwork (like Instagram Reels), and there were moments when marketing efforts based primarily on TikTok felt like risky business.
This is a key learning experience: You never know when a platform that is key to your strategy could be at risk. If TikTok had been banned and your plan was based primarily around a strong influencer strategy there, you could be in hot water. However, if you build and maintain a strong influencer strategy on TikTok and Instagram, you’re prepared to pivot. You can lean into one or the other as the popularity of each fluctuates. Omnichannel marketing is key to keeping your strategy adaptable in a pinch.
It’s All About Your Owned Audience
Another key to adaptability in your plan is to use platforms like social media as funnels to create an owned audience — an audience you can reliably reach without using the platforms they came to you from. A good example of this is your email list. While Facebook and Instagram can be volatile, changing policies or capabilities without notice, it’s unlikely that email is changing any time soon.
Funneling your social media audiences into an email marketing list can create steadiness and reliability in the face of change.
2021 is full of unknowns — make sure your plan is protected. Diversify your efforts across multiple platforms, and use them as a funnel to create an owned audience that you can access through reliable mediums like email.