15 January Marketing Ideas to Start 2021 with a Bang
You guys. We’ve made it. We’re entering 2021 and finally saying goodbye to 2020. The year that brought us so many ~unprecedented~ times. We’ve experienced an actual pandemic, a turbulent election, the rise of TikTok, and so much more.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate all we’ve been through together.
Ah. Feels nice.
Okay, now it’s time to get to work. The holidays are over, your marketing plan is ready to go, and the world is your oyster when it comes to making a splash with your marketing in 2021.
To help you start ramping back up on your marketing, we’re sharing tons of creative January marketing ideas, including:
- Quick and easy marketing ideas you can tackle this month to help you start off the year on the right foot.
- Ideas to help you organize and streamline your planning so you’ll be on track to meet (and hopefully exceed) your marketing goals all year long.
- January holidays, observances, and themes to help you plan your promotions, social calendar, and business events around.
(PS: If you're looking for a whole year of 2021 marketing ideas, check out this marketing calendar template!)
Let's kick things off!
Quick and easy January marketing ideas to get your year started right
1. Update your Google Business Profile
A robust Google My Business profile is more important now than ever. If you want to show up when local searchers are trying to find businesses like yours on Google or in Google Maps, a complete and optimized Google Business profile is the place to start.
Take a minute to make sure your profile is claimed and then take it a step further by optimizing your listing:
- Populate the Q&A section of your profile with frequently asked questions.
- Add some images or a video that showcase your business.
- Make sure to respond to all reviews.
2. Create holiday roundup posts
The holidays might be over, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to squeeze every last drop of cheer you can out of the last month! You can still make the holidays part of your January marketing by creating and publishing holiday roundup posts on your blog or on your social media sites.
Here are some ideas:
- Did your catering company work a holiday party? Post pictures or recipes!
- You can also take advantage of #tbt (Throwback Thursday) on Twitter and Instagram and post pictures from just a couple of weeks ago to share with your followers.
- Cleaning services or home goods shops can provide post-holiday cleaning or Christmas tree disposal tips.
The holidays are busy, and customers might have missed all you had going on, so this is an easy way to create content for your business while making sure they’re in the loop.
3. Announce upcoming events or promotions
Market your business both online and offline by highlighting upcoming events for 2021. Some upcoming holidays include President’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, and St. Patrick’s Day.
If you have anything planned for these events, like upcoming Valentine’s Day deals at your spa or a special Valentine’s menu at your restaurant, let customers know! A calendar of promotions is a great way to keep customers informed about upcoming promotions or events your business is sponsoring or hosting.
4. Start a customer loyalty or referral program
Every business owner knows the value of a loyal customer. Loyal customers mean repeat business and are also more likely to refer other customers.
But how can you build customer loyalty? One way is through a customer loyalty or referral program, and January is the perfect time to launch one!
Here are some ideas for your customer loyalty program:
- Create and print a simple stamp card for customers. Each purchase or service equals one stamp. After 10 stamps, customers can receive a free product, a discounted service, or a swag item.
- Offer current customers a discount for each new customer they refer.
- Create a tiered loyalty program so customers can move up in tiers based on their purchase history – the higher the tier, the better discounts.
Make sure to promote your loyalty program on social media and in your location so customers can find out about it easily.
5. Run a Facebook ad campaign
If you haven’t tested out Facebook advertising, now is a great time to do so to get your marketing started off right. Think about a specific marketing goal you’d like to accomplish – say, getting more website visitors, growing your audience on Facebook, or collecting leads. You can do any of those with a specific Facebook ad.
If you have some great beginning-of-the-year specials or promotions, you can use them in your ad copy to entice new customers.
This gym is using Facebook ads to promote an offer for 3-day passes.
January planning ideas to set yourself up for success
6. Solidify your yearly goals or marketing plan
Whether you’re an agency marketer, a business owner, or a freelancer, it’s important to have both personal and professional goals for the year. Take some time at the beginning of the month to make sure your goals and your marketing plan are solidified.
As we know, things can change quickly, but having a documented plan or a growth strategy in place can make the difference between hitting your revenue goals for the year and missing them.
7. Create New Year’s resolutions for your business
Make your New Year’s Resolutions stick this year by sharing them with your online community—and ask your fans and followers to share theirs! This is a great way to engage your audience and get people in on your own resolutions.
Plus, you can create regular content based on your resolutions. Here are some examples:
- Fitness centers can have a weekly accountability post to create a support community.
- Restaurants and catering services can write blog or Facebook posts with healthy recipes.
- Daycares can blog about toy organization ideas for playrooms and toy areas.
8. Start with a clean inbox
There’s nothing less exciting than seeing the number of new emails in your inbox when you get back from the holidays. Start out the new year with a clean inbox – go through those old emails you “starred” and never followed up on and either follow up or delete.
If you don’t already use folders for your emails, create some to help you keep your inbox organized. If you’re like me, you probably have about 100 emails of ideas you want to try – those can go in an Idea folder that you can revisit throughout the year. You never know, you might just find your next great idea buried in your own inbox!
P.S. Did you know January 25-29 is actually Clean Out Your Inbox Week? Sounds like the perfect excuse to block off some time on your calendar and go through those emails…
9. Revisit what worked last year (and what didn’t)
Now that you have a full year of data available, take some time to see what worked in your marketing last year and what didn’t.
Here are some ideas of what to look at:
- What content or webpages performed best for you?
- What resonated with your audiences on social media – top posts, most engaging posts, etc.?
- What email subject lines got the best open rates?
- What marketing strategies, campaigns, or channels drove the most leads?
- What didn’t perform as well as you thought it would – and how could it be improved?
10. Read up on 2021 marketing trends and predictions
With the new year comes a ton of new content around what to expect in the world of marketing and business in general. Find some articles or blog posts that will get you up to speed on what the experts expect to be big this year in your own industry—and jot down some ideas or trends that you might want to try out!
Here are a few resources to get started:
- 7 Content Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021
- Social Media Marketing Trends for 2021: Predictions from the Pros
- 3 Key Paid Social Trends for 2021 (+ How to Take Advantage)
January marketing ideas around holidays and observances
11. Participate in a day of service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 18 is a national holiday to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday and commemorate his Nobel Peace Prize for his Civil Rights leadership. Many communities participate in a day of service in his honor to continue his legacy of serving others.
Take part in a community day of service with your customers or employees. You can organize your own event or get involved with events already planned in your local area. Create a buzz on social media and invite other small businesses to get involved. Banding together with others to better your local community is a great way to give back while fostering a good business reputation.
12. Save lives by donating blood or hosting a blood drive
The pandemic has impacted regular blood drives, which has led to a decrease in the blood supply – while the demand for blood donations has only increased. January is National Blood Donor Month, making it an excellent time for your business to get involved.
You can get involved by either participating in a local blood drive or hosting one of your own. You can also run special promotions rewarding those in your community for donating blood during the month of January – if they bring in some kind of proof that they donated, they receive a discount on your products or services.
13. Hand out compliments on Compliment Day
Who doesn’t love a nice compliment? On January 24, take the time to say something nice in celebration of Compliment Day.
Here are some marketing ideas for Compliment Day:
- Show another business some love on their social media or Yelp page. (They may return the favor by writing some positive reviews for you as well!)
- Start a compliment train. Ask your followers to tag someone in your post and give them a compliment. The tagged person then tags another friend and gives them a compliment and so on.
- Give your employees hand-written compliments to show them you appreciate them.
14. Let it snow and embrace winter
Much of the United States is covered in snow in January. Love it or hate it, you can’t stop it, so use it to your advantage! Make the snowy weather a little less gray with content, promotions, and these other marketing ideas celebrating the cold.
- Daycares can participate by providing safety tips for playing or dressing children in the snow.
- Contractors, construction, and snow removal companies can write about winter hazards in the home—carbon monoxide detectors, salt versus sand for ice and snow, or how to winterize drafty windows.
- Give a snow-day discount. Anytime your city gets snow, offer a discount based on the number of inches you’ve received, like 20% off for 20 inches of snow!
You can also keep your customers up to date on the latest snow closures on your social media pages.
15. Encourage organization on National Clean Off Your Desk Day
I know what you’re thinking, and, yes, this is a real observance. With so many people working from home and becoming obsessed with cleaning and organization shows like Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Get Organized with The Home Edit, not to mention the viral sensation GoCleanCo on Instagram, it’s clear people are spending a lot of time thinking about how to keep their workspaces tidy.
I wish my home office desk looked as organized as this one by The Home Edit.
On January 11, take some time to tidy up your desk and share your before and after picture with your social media audience. Then, ask them to share their results with you! You can even run a contest—one lucky person who shares their pictures will win a special prize.
Make your January stress-free and results-filled
January can often be a stressful time for business owners, but with the right marketing ideas and plan in place, you can relieve some stress without losing out on new customers and engagement. Happy new year!
For more monthly marketing ideas, check out our other posts:
- 17+ Free and Creative September Marketing Ideas
- 21+ Free and Effective October Marketing Ideas
- 19 Simple Yet Superb November Marketing Ideas (with Examples)
- 20 Super-Festive December Marketing Ideas
- 15 January Marketing Ideas to Start the New Year with a Bang
- 20 Fabulous (and Affordable) February Marketing Ideas
- 30+ Creative and Cost-Friendly March Marketing Ideas
And for a year's worth of marketing ideas, check out this marketing calendar template from our friends at LOCALiQ.