What 2020 taught us about Digital Marketing for 2021

Quick show of hands: Who here completely abandoned their 2020 marketing plans when the pandemic hit in March? Same here. But despite the many changes that 2020 put us through, this year has reinforced the old aphorism: Change is the only constant.
2020 taught us and our customers a lot about doing digital marketing better. Keep these ideas in mind as you step into your 2021 digital marketing execution.

Plan your 2021 digital marketing one quarter at a time—and be ready for things to change.

From the vantage point of our kitchen-table home offices, the future may seem murky and uncertain (even as promising vaccines roll out). To avoid a repeat of last spring, your marketing plan must account for the unexpected, and embrace opportunities that might come from disruption.

Avoid planning too far ahead. Instead, section the year out by quarters. Identify Q1 digital marketing goals that you could reach regardless of the state of regional, national, and world events. Breaking your marketing goals into more manageable chunks will allow you and your team to feel more accomplished, either in the office or over virtual coffee.

Update your content and optimize your website.

Make regular content updates part of your 2021 digital marketing strategy.

Content from last January may already seem outdated and disconnected from the current moment. Today, online shopping, virtual meetings, and remote working are central to our lives. Your website has become one of the single most important aspects of your business.

Providing a seamless website experience with relevant and up-to-date content is critical to increasing your customer base and maintaining long-term customer relationships. To help Nantucket’s Sconset Market adjust to the new pandemic conditions last spring, we created websites with integrated ecommerce capabilities to help their business thrive in the uncertain summer of 2020.

Take the extra time to review your website before the year comes to a close, including:

  • Review the dates on your blogs—are they older than two years? Consider updating or republishing them.
  • Evaluate eBooks & Webinars for outdated sources or information.
  • Seek opportunities to create new assets such as whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, informational videos, etc.
  • Search for any partner or client news that you can build content around.

Stuffing your web pages with keywords won’t get you love from Google or Bing. Quite the opposite, in fact. Today, search engines are looking for relevance and authority in web content. A topic cluster strategy is your best approach to moving up in search rankings.

Embrace inbound marketing (and then excel at it).

Develop your inbound expertise as part of your 2021 digital marketing strategy.

With practically everyone living online, you need to devise inbound strategies that help your organization find prospects that are interested in your products or services. From using an SEO strategy that optimizes your content to implementing a thoughtful chatbot, you can begin to attract and engage the people who are searching for you.

By using an inbound marketing tool like HubSpot, you can segment your contacts by industry, company size, or revenue and send them relevant information.

You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars per year to invest in marketing automation. With HubSpot, you can get a CRM, a chatbot, landing pages, and email marketing for free. They offer affordable options for all types of businesses and we can help you find out which is best for your business. We can help you get started.

Review your lead generation.

Since March, email sends have increased by about 40% compared to pre-COVID levels, along with open rates for marketing emails. Whether you are attacking lead generation through email, social media, or advertisements, generating leads is critical for business continuity. Investing in inbound marketing means you identify your prospective customers and let them know who you are before they ask for you.

You can create blog posts and content-heavy webpages that direct the visitors to a single end-goal. Providing your website visitors with useful and relevant conversation is key when looking for form completes. Within these posts and webpages, add CTA’s to relevant content, offer exclusive content and finish with a link they can use to contact your team with any related questions. Always point your prospects where they should go next.

Use these tips to successfully target your prospects and increase the relevance of your company more.

  • Are you using inbound lead generation? (You should be)
  • Do your emails, social posts, or blogs drive visits to your sites?
  • Do you personalize your email campaigns or outreach by buyer persona?
  • Are your offers relevant and exciting for your buyer personas?

Do you have questions about your lead generation strategies? We can help! Download Parts One and Two of our eBook series, “The Basics of Generating Inbound B2B Leads.”


With HubSpot Free & HubSpot Starter, you can leverage forms and chat throughout your website to capture leads. You can create specific forms that are relevant to different pages on your site and use contact properties to better organize your contact data. (From HubSpot Starter and beyond, you can create specific follow-up emails and simple workflows that make sure you stay in touch with your prospects.) Let us show you how to get started.

Reanalyze your social media strategy.

Social media should always matter to your business—from brand awareness and customer engagement to promoting your organization. Scheduling social content in advance can elevate the awareness surrounding your business and enable you to post during the most influential hours—without having to invest an excess of your time.

Leverage those likes as part of your 2021 digital marketing strategy.

Luckily, our partner HubSpot has created a Content Calendar that makes this task easier and more manageable. (An added bonus—you can upload it right into HubSpot Social!) Along with implementing a content calendar, you can take a few other approaches you can take to boost your social presence.

  • Learn the best times and days to post on each site.
  • Review your buyer personas and create specific content for them.
  • Organize third party sources to rely on for social content related to your business.
  • Implement a social content calendar (and a content repository).
  • Conduct hashtag research.

Ready to boost your social presence? Check out HubSpot’s Social Content Calendar, along with their How-To Guide to get your social media rolling!

Know your competition.

Have you been keeping up with the Joneses? If not, don’t panic (yet). There’s always time to successfully position your business so it stands out from the competition. Complete a competitive review by identifying:

  • The platforms your competition is using
  • Are they more successful on one social media site vs another?
  • Are they using inbound? How?
  • Complete a competitive keyword analysis


Always keep an eye on your competition. Follow them on social, subscribe to their emails and stay up to date on their content assets. 2021 will bring with it many new ideas and plans for Digital Marketing—both you and your competition will be making changes. Schedule regular reviews of their website, from keyword analytics to a content review to better position your business for success.

Start the year with a new and optimistic outlook.

With a smart 2021 digital marketing strategy, the road ahead can be smooth and bright for your business.2020 did not turn out the way anyone expected, but it has allowed us to learn ways to grow under pressure. By preparing to expect the unexpected, revamping your website, or becoming a social content organization guru, you can elevate your organization (and your Digital Workplace) to the next level. You already work hard for your business: start next year off with a clear vision of your future. The opportunity to better your business is now.

(Questions? Contact our Digital Marketing team here or click the orange chat button at the bottom right.)