Marketing plan

As a business owner, it can be tough to know where to spend your time and money when it comes to marketing. Marketing trends move quickly, and consumer expectations are continually evolving – making it vital that you have your finger on the pulse and can execute a marketing strategy that grows your business and gives you a solid return on your investment.

The following marketing strategies and tactics can be used by businesses of all sizes and styles to boost their marketing performance in 2021.

1. Ensure your website is SEO-friendly

Regardless of whether you sell products and services online, you should have a website that’s optimised for search engines. A website with strong SEO (search engine optimisation) will help you to receive more organic (unpaid) traffic from the search engine results page as your website will appear higher in the list of search results.

To boost your SEO, you can hire an SEO professional or agency to assist or do it yourself. There’s a lot that goes into building an SEO-friendly website - read our blog post ‘How to get more traffic to your website’ for more information on the importance of SEO and some ideas to get you started.

2. Claim and optimise your Google My Business page

Google My Business is a free tool that lets businesses manage their online presence across Google, including search results and maps. By claiming your Google My Business page and entering business information including your address, business hours, website address, contact information and more, you can connect with customers and increase leads.

3. Share your brand story

Customers are increasingly looking to engage with and buy from businesses they know and have an emotional connection to. Brands that are authentic and share the story about how they came to exist are generally more memorable – so let your audience know what motivates you to do what you do.

Maybe your business came about when you identified a gap in the market, or your priorities or lifestyle changed. Whether your passion is for children, sustainability or Danish design, share your enthusiasm on your website’s About page and when you engage with customers in person, via social media, over videos and more.

4. Personalise your marketing messages

Build on your customers’ engagement with your brand by personalising your marketing messages. This goes beyond adding a first name to subscriber emails – it means digging into analytics and understanding your customers’ behaviour, demographics and more.

Square Online gives you access to advanced reporting and analytics that provide real-time insights into who’s buying from you, what they’re purchasing, how much they’re spending, how often they return, and more. Square Dashboard is a powerful business intelligence software that comes free with your Square account.

At a minimum, you should target your audience based on their engagement with your business and create separate messages for first-time buyers, abandoned carts and repeat purchases. At sign up, ask new subscribers what types of marketing messages they’d like to receive, so they’re less likely to unsubscribe in the future.

5. Get more from your gift cards

Whatever your business, if you don’t sell gift cards – or struggle to sell them well – you’re missing out on a piece of the ever-growing gift card market. The Australian gift card market grew at an average of nearly 30% during 2015-2019 and even more rapidly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Physical and digital gift cards can introduce a new revenue stream to your business and allow existing customers to help you grow your brand awareness and reach.

Square Gift Cards allow Square users to launch a complete gifting program with online and plastic gift cards. Start selling gift cards in a few clicks - you can set up eGift cards instantly and design either quick gift cards or custom gift cards.

6. Boost your social media marketing

Social media marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing that you can invest in.

Customers are becoming increasingly comfortable buying via their Instagram and Facebook feeds. More than 1 billion people use Instagram each month, making it an incredibly powerful tool to engage with your audience, build your brand’s exposure and grow sales. Today, shoppable posts let Facebook and Instagram users browse, buy and checkout without leaving the app.

It’s quick and easy to connect Square Online to Instagram, and you can accept online payment for products on Insta with Square Online Checkout even if you don’t have a Square Online Store.

7. Consider PPC (pay-per-click) advertising

If you’re looking for an extra boost, consider running a pay-per-click advertising campaign to promote your website. Tools like Google AdWords let you pay for your website to appear at the top of the search results page for specific search terms, giving you an edge above your competitors.

Once again, you can outsource to a specialist AdWords agency or do some research into the AdWords platform and manage your campaigns yourself.

8. Consider video marketing

Video has become the most commonly used format in content marketing, overtaking blogs and infographics. HubSpot reports that 87% of video marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website.

There are many different ways you can use videos to promote your business – from videos embedded across your website pages to Instagram Reels and short-form videos on TikTok. Product tutorials and explainer videos are an effective way to demonstrate how to use your product and the benefits it delivers.

Live-streaming is another popular video marketing choice as it’s free and simple to produce while reaching a broad audience and offering authentic real-time user engagement.

Whether you’re a start-up or established company, there’s always scope to up your marketing game. Try these marketing ideas for 2021 and track which tactics deliver the greatest benefit for your business.