An ideal B2C marketing campaign in 2021 contains some tried and true tactics—a strong website, search and content marketing initiatives, and traditional marketing approaches that include print ads, out-of-home, and direct mail.
But new trends like the skyrocketing popularity of video for just about, well, everything and the expectation for superior omnichannel experiences (not to mention authenticity and transparency from companies) should be incorporated into every B2C marketing campaign in a post-COVID world.
A comprehensive, omnichannel marketing campaign remains the best way to reach consumers with targeted, relevant messaging across multiple channels and touchpoints. It’s also the only way to remain competitive (and relevant) in an increasingly cluttered global marketing ecosystem. (Global ad spend is on track to reach $665 billion this year, an increase of 12.5% compared with 2020.)
At the end of the day, B2C marketing is a tactics-driven discipline. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of must-have tactics to include in an effective B2C marketing campaign in 2021.
Tactic 1: Have a great website
We’ve said it before and we’re not afraid to say it again, your company website is really important, especially when it comes to mobile devices. Nearly 60% of consumers say they won’t recommend a business with a poor mobile website design. But mobile-friendliness isn’t the only thing to consider. Your website should be search engine friendly, up-to-date, and easy to navigate.
Consumers go to business websites for many different reasons, but there are a few standout elements they consistently look for. HubSpot recently asked 285 US consumers what they thought was the most important element for a business to have on its website. Contact and About Us information ranked at the top of the list, with 62% and 31% of respondents listing these elements. Other top elements included social media icons, live chat, product images/videos, and a physical address. It’s the simple things, really.
Tactic 2: Search marketing
As noted above, a good website is a search engine friendly website. Organic search engine optimization is particularly important because relying on paid search alone can get be expensive. The average cost per acquisition (CPA) for paid search is $49, though this varies by industry with some categories like B2B, Technology, and Real Estate exceeding $100. We recommend a hybrid approach to search marketing that combines paid search with organic tactics like optimizing for featured snippets. This ensures your website gets the most visibility on Google and other search engines.
Tactic 3: Step up your content game
82% of marketers used some form of content marketing this year, up a whopping 70% from 2020. For obvious reasons, digital content and communications has taken center stage during the pandemic. Content touches every channel—both online and offline—that consumers use to engage with your business—from email to websites to social media and offline in the real world (in stores, on billboards, in print, and on TV).
Content is most effective when it’s personalized and aligned across all channels. We use SharpSpring, a scalable email marketing platform that automates the process of segmenting customers and sending personalized email messages that focus on nurturing leads and building customer relationships.
Content can also be shared and featured across social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. A comprehensive content strategy is a B2C marketing must-have in 2021.
Tactic 4: Create compelling video content
Content is many things to many people, but in 2021, it’s all about video. In a 2020 survey by video platform Wyzowl, 85% of consumers surveyed said they wanted to see more video from brands. And Brands, for their part, were happy to oblige. The same survey revealed that 99% of video marketers planned to continue to use video in 2021—on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and everywhere in between.
Creating standout video is a great brand differentiator. We work with clients to create compelling video content through a rigorous process of video ideation and production with a focus on storytelling and authenticity.
Videos are an incredibly versatile content type that can be leveraged on your website, in social media campaigns, and as a way to enhance other marketing initiatives like email campaigns (including video in email can increase open rates, click rates, and reduce unsubscribe rates, according to Campaign Monitor).
Tactic 5: Don’t discount traditional tactics
We realize that this list of B2C marketing tactics is very, um, digital, so we just want to give a shout out to the role of traditional marketing tactics including print, out of home, radio, and TV advertising. We work with many local companies that leverage traditional tactics in conjunction with digital tactics to reach a local audience of shoppers, patients, and customers.
Traditional tactics can be leveraged concurrently with digital tactics for a holistic B2C campaign. This is where storytelling becomes important. One example: in our work with Harney & Sons Fine Teas, we’ve created beautiful holiday video campaigns that include videos, print catalogs, and a robust ecommerce website. All of these marketing elements fit together to tell the Harney’s story and give consumers a glimpse into how the company operates.
Tactic 6: Choose the right platform for your website
We started this list with websites and we think it’s only fitting to end it with websites—or rather, website platforms. Website platforms come in many different flavors. Thus, it’s important to select the right platform for your business. We recommend Drupal because it’s flexible, scalable, mobile friendly, and has a built-in content management system that makes it easy for our clients to update their own content.
Drupal is also incredibly customizable and is supported by a large community of users and programmers, thus there are many third-party modules that can be used to add functionality to your website. But Drupal isn’t the only game in town. If you’re a retailer, you’ll want a commerce platform like WooCommerce or Shopify that can help you manage payments, inventory, and content from one unified interface. Choosing a platform that easily integrates with popular marketing, CRM, and analytics tools will make your life easier in the long run (especially when it comes to running marketing campaigns).
The perfect B2C marketing campaign is different for everyone
The above tactics are some of our favorites, but they obviously don’t represent every possible digital or traditional marketing approach you can take. We left out some big ones like social media and display ads, though these arguably fall within the category of content and/or video marketing. Regardless of what tactics or approach you use, it’s important to set realistic KPIs, monitor performance, test everything, and optimize based on results.
Need help with your B2C marketing strategy? Contact us for a free phone consultation or to learn more about our integrated B2C marketing approach.