How to prepare a 2021 marketing plan for your small business

Updated: 6 days ago

The new year is fast approaching! As your business prepares to enter the new year, putting a focus on marketing can make a huge difference. Keep reading for our top tips to consider when preparing a 2021 marketing plan for your small business.



Create your marketing content calendar


The best way to be prepared for marketing your small business in the new year is to plan out your marketing content calendar for the year. Lay out your major business updates, holidays, promotions, goals, and any other important milestones in the new year. You'll want to build social media content around these moments.


For some small businesses, it can be difficult to predict what you’ll post about in a few months. If that’s the case, then just plan on marketing themes you may want to try in the upcoming months. Here are some common themes by month:


January themes

  • Resolutions

  • Clean up and clean out

  • Fitness and wellness, self care

  • Dry January

February themes

  • Romance and love

  • Coworker appreciation

  • Black History Month

March themes

  • Spring cleaning

  • Spring break

  • Gardening and crafting

  • March Madness

April themes

  • Spring cleaning and organization

  • Showers and weddings

  • Baseball

  • Planning for summer

  • Ramadan begins

May themes

  • BBQs and camping

  • Showers, weddings, and graduations

  • Summer planning

June themes

  • Summer vacations, BBQs, and outdoor activities

  • Dads and grads

  • Pride month

July themes

  • Summer activities

  • Fourth of July

August themes

  • End of summer

  • Back to school

  • Black Business Month

  • Fall trends

September themes

  • Back to school

  • End of summer sales

  • Football season and tailgating

  • Fall fashion and fall trends

  • Oktoberfest

  • Fall food and drink

October themes

  • Fall and autumn

  • Halloween themed cocktails and food

  • Halloween costumes and parties

  • Holiday planning

November themes

  • Holiday planning, holiday sales, holiday gift guides

  • Friends and family, home entertaining, and hosting

  • Volunteering and community

  • Customer appreciation

December themes

  • Holiday, holiday parties, holiday hosting

  • Advent

  • Gifting, gift guides, and stocking stuffers

  • Holiday sales

  • Friends and family

Consider these common themes when planning your content calendar.


Once you've planned your content for the year, you can get started on creating your social media posts and scheduling them in advance. Ripl’s scheduling features will allow you to schedule your future videos and images ahead of time.



Build partnerships within your community


For small businesses, building partnerships with other businesses and organizations is a great opportunity for word of mouth marketing. Think about what partnerships you may want to form with other small businesses and organizations within your community. How could a partnership with them benefit the both of you? Here are a few partnership ideas to think about:


Collaborate with another business

Partnering with another business opens up opportunities for cross promotion. Plan out what your marketing efforts will look like on both sides so that it's mutually beneficial.


Partner with a nonprofit

By sponsoring or partnering with a nonprofit, you can open up a whole new audience to expose to your business. Encourage the nonprofit to share your business logo or marketing materials in their own marketing efforts. Include your social media channel handles so that people can find your business on social!


Join a local small business organization

By joining a local small business organization, you will have the opportunity to network with other businesses in your area. This could open up the possibility of partnering with other businesses in the future.


Sponsor a local community event

Whether it's a holiday celebration, a community arts show, or a food drive, sponsoring a community event is a great way to get your name out there while supporting a good cause.


Update marketing content of years past


With a new year comes new information, and that means your old content might become outdated. Take some time to clean up and update your marketing materials. This includes your website, social media profiles, signage, menus, blog, partnership promotional materials, and any other items that may have your business information on them. Update your marketing materials with new dates, links, and contact information where applicable. If you have any outdated references to past years, it's time to update or delete them!


If your business relies on regular communication with customers, then you should also clean and update your contact list. Delete outdated emails or phone numbers from your directory, it will save you time and resources in the future.


Ask for reviews and testimonials


A good way to jumpstart your business in the new year is also to request more reviews and testimonials from your past customers. After all, 91% of people regularly read online reviews.


So how do you solicit reviews from customers? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Make an in-store sign to encourage Yelp reviews.

  • Send an email to customers asking for their feedback.

  • Ask your followers for reviews on social media.

  • Ask your customers to review your business in person.

Small businesses rely on reviews, and ensuring you receive more positive reviews in the new year is sure to boost your business.


Try something new


A new year is a new opportunity to try new marketing strategies. Run a test, post something you've never posted before, or introduce new products in innovative ways on social! Here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing:

  • Start using videos to market your small business on social media.

  • Try out Instagram Reels, IGTV, or Facebook Live in your marketing plan.

  • Create an Instagram Shop if you don't already have one set up!

  • Come up with a new event and advertise it on social.

  • Experiment with different types of images or infographics in your marketing.

  • Consider refreshing your business logos, colors, and fonts for a whole new look.