Planning 2021: Part three of our series on strategic planning for HR tech marketers concludes here.

20 November 2020

2021 will be the time to try things you haven’t before. As trade publications battle for survival and journalist teams shrink, expectations that tech vendors in particular will spend on media partnerships and paid content increase. Allocating a quarterly paid budget for the year and trying different formats each period (if paid has not been part of your PR approach before) makes a lot of sense. Also, don’t necessarily take off the shelf products from publications. Let your agency help negotiate a creative package of mixed earned / paid media based on the audience and objectives you have set. 

It is worth also thinking about alternative routes to amplifying your messages and content in 2021 to cut through. While influencer engagement programmes have been a mainstay of B2C comms activity, they are not yet so common in B2B. Investing in testing different influencer partnerships across the year is a great route to build on organic social and routes to your audience. 

Paid social is also a great route to amplify your earned or paid media coverage even further. Understanding which social channel your target marketers are across is key. LinkedIn and Twitter are perennial stalwarts but Facebook and Insta are increasing their share of spend reaching specialist B2B audiences. Building custom audiences and using the same principles of content creation you would apply to generating column inches will get engagement on the up. It’s important not to be afraid of trying these things out; run AB testing alongside social media campaigns so optimisation happens almost real time. Work with your agency to identify the software it’s worth investing time in as well as the metrics you should be monitoring and measuring. 

For 2021, planning and measuring will need to be more frequent – more ‘live’ – than ever before. While overall campaign evaluation was the route to assess success pre-Covid, now with the pandemic introducing unexpected variables, individual channel analysis helps identify what we should repeat, cancel or change moving forward. But no-one wants to pivot so many times they get dizzy. Setting up a best practice approach to planning with your PR team will mean focused and confident agility. 

So there we are: 3 steps that can help ace 2021 planning, ongoing. To hear more and to ask questions, sign up to our Q & Brew planning webinar by emailing us at Thursday 3rd December 08.30 GMT. Our CEO Debbie Zaman will be joined by digital marketing expert Jennifer Begg and insights specialist Jane Hales.