4 Foundational Marketing Channels to Focus on in 2021

Content marketing is extremely valuable to your overall 2021 marketing plan. We have certainly seen a number of shifts in consumer behavior in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

More and more consumers are turning to digital channels to communicate, stay informed, and shop. In fact, 48 percent of U.S. shoppers did more 2020 holiday shopping online than ever before, because of the pandemic.

This is just one consumer behavior shift of 2020. Many Americans will continue to stay home and let their fingers explore the outside world via mobile and desktop devices.

How can companies find and connect with consumers and/or clients in this new digital environment?

To reach more consumers, you need to increase your online presence. How do you effectively do this and maximize Return On Investment (ROI)? Digital marketing strategies that deliver powerful content.

The following 4 foundational marketing channels will be what my clients and I focus on in 2021 for business growth and success. They may prove valuable for your business too.

From social media to search engine optimization (SEO), let’s dive right in!

1. Social Media Will Play A Major Role In 2021 Marketing

Social media will continue to grow, and this should be a primary focus for your 2021 marketing plan. You can be sure your competitors will be leveraging social media to attract more consumer attention online.

According to a 2019 Buffer study, more than 58 percent of marketers viewed social media as a very important part of their overall marketing strategy.

But you do need to ensure you’re making the most of social media in order to accomplish your marketing goals. Pushing out the same old branded marketing messages via social media is not going to be ROI positive.

This is where influencer marketing makes an impact. More brands are turning to influencer marketing, simply because online consumers trust influencer recommendations more.

Over 88 percent of marketers continued to invest in influencer marketing in 2019.

This percentage has surely increased in 2020 and will continue to do so in 2021.

Why? Influencers have the target audience businesses want to connect with. Not to mention that influencers know how to compel their loyal followers to purchase products and/or services.

They are the pros of social media marketing. Here’s an example of how Instagram influencer @sweatandtell leverages social influence for new brand-inspired products:

If you’re not considering social media and influencers as a foundational marketing channel, you are missing out.

2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Is A Critical Marketing Channel

Do not underestimate the power of search engine optimization (SEO) when it comes to your 2021 marketing plan. SEO and marketing are no longer separate entities. In fact, they are very much tethered, especially for content marketing campaigns.

Keywords, website content, backend optimization tactics (site speed, structured data, etc.), business blogging, actionable research and ebooks, and more, are all examples of why SEO and content marketing need to be intertwined.

Utilizing SEO techniques within marketing efforts can produce nearly 1000 percent more traffic than traditional organic social media.

When it comes to connecting and communicating marketing messages to consumers online, Google found that 58 percent of people do online research before making a purchase.

Having search engine optimization part of your marketing mix up, consumers can find your business, products, and/or services easier online. This is a clear call to action for SEO in 2021.

3. Podcasts Will Continue to Disrupt Marketing In 2021

A foundational marketing channel to consider in your 2021 marketing strategy is podcasting. Podcasting continues to be a powerful way to reach and connect with a target audience. And it is a preferred way of consuming content online.

Did you know that 37 percent of Americans (104 million people) listen to podcasts monthly?

That is a huge audience for your business podcast. Smartphones are driving the podcast revolution.

The demand for podcasts is certainly there. However, businesses need to understand how to keep the attention of listeners in order to ensure podcast success. A successful podcast entertains and serves up high-quality information.

First, you need to understand what kind of audio content your target audience wants to hear. Then you need to ensure that your podcasts are optimized for online users to find the content. SEO can help (see foundational marketing tip #2).

Want to revamp your marketing strategy in a unique way that will drive traffic to your website and help convert more potential customers and/or clients? Podcasting is the solution.

4. Email Marketing Is Still A Viable Marketing Channel

Many traditional marketing channels are out of date these days. But one marketing channel that still boasts insane ROI and converts, whether it is lead generation or sales, is email marketing.

Recent research found that email marketing ROI has the potential to generate $42 for every marketing dollar spent.

That is big-time ROI. More ROI than most other marketing channels. Email marketing can also help you take other marketing channels to the next level. For instance, you can promote blogs, podcasts, social media, and other marketing efforts via email marketing.

A few core elements of successful email marketing campaigns include:

  • Focus on value for email recipients (actionable content, deals, promotions, etc.)
  • Personalized content that sparks a meaningful connection
  • Concise content (people want to spend a maximum of two minutes reading)
  • Emails that are mobile-friendly (mobile responsiveness is critical)
  • No heavy marketing messages or overly spammy emails

The above are email marketing best practices for campaign success. Take your email marketing to the next level and keep communicating with your target audience with recipient value in mind.

In Conclusion . . .

Having foundational marketing channels in place can help guide your overall marketing strategy, ensuring maximum ROI, and increased business growth. There is no doubt that 2021 will be a year of digital marketing as the pandemic continues to shift how people interact with businesses online.

How will you fill the gap and meet these digital demands in 2021? These 4 foundational marketing channels will be a focus for my clients, and they may also prove useful for your business as we enter the New Year.

Author’s Bio:

Matt Bertram is CEO and Co-founder of EWR Digital. An enterprise-level marketing agency based in Houston, Texas. Matt has over a decade in digital marketing strategies with a strong focus in SEO. He’s also a father of two and can’t wait for the pandemic to be over with.  


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