Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2021
We haven’t yet reached the finish line, but a new year is (thankfully) on the horizon. As we prepare to turn the page to 2021, it’s officially time to look ahead at what the future has in store for the digital marketing industry.
Obviously, the pandemic has had a major impact on digital strategies in 2020, but will some of these new ideas last in a post-Covid world? Most of the experts are answering with a resounding “yes.”
In this article, I’ll lay out the top strategies and philosophies which are expected to dominate the digital marketing industry in the upcoming year.
1. Social Media – a Tool for Retention
I’ll spare you the hard data and state the obvious: people have spent significantly more time than ever before on social media in 2021. With this in mind, it’s important to make it a priority in your digital strategy moving forward.
That social media is important isn’t news, but the way in which it’s being used has shifted, albeit slightly.
Digital marketers are placing an increased emphasis on using social media channels to retain customers and cultivate brand loyalty. This doesn’t mean that the search for new business is over, but it does mean that you might want to give a little extra love to your dedicated followers.
Remember that social media is supposed to be a two-way street between brand and consumer. Engage with your audience whenever possible, and you’ll continue to win them over again and again.
2. Interactive Content
Want customers to engage with your brand more often on digital platforms? Try making it more fun for them!
There are a number of methods you can use to incorporate interactive content into your marketing plan, including running a Facebook or Instagram contest, posting quizzes on your social media channels or website, or even simply running a poll on your Facebook page that revolves around a topical, lighthearted subject.
The bottom line is that users want to interact to be talked “with,” not talked “at.” Give them a seat at the table by utilizing more interactive content and you’ll likely see a positive response from your audience in terms of overall engagement.
3. Local Matters
For small business owners, it’s crucial to think local when it comes to your marketing approach. That means taking the time to claim and accurately fill out all the fields for your company’s Google My Business listing.
When potential customers search for businesses in their immediate location, the determining factor that helps lead them to a decision is often the quality of a business’s local search presence. Be sure to update your information on a regular basis, and always double-check your hours of operation for accuracy.
Throughout Covid-19, local search platforms have been invaluable in communicating directly with customers about the accommodations businesses are making in order to ensure the health of their customers, while still remaining open. Moving forward, look for local search listings to continue having a major presence in the customer journey.
4. Voice Search
Not everyone is fully on-board with using their voice to perform searches…but it’s certainly heading in that direction.
A recent survey showed that nearly 80% of people had conducted a voice search on either a smart speaker or a mobile device in 2019 – and this number only keeps growing year-over-year. With that in mind, how do marketers get ahead of this trend?
In many ways, voice search is designed to function similar to the way it would if you used a keyboard, but there are notable differences as well. SEO voice-search experts recommend optimizing your content by keeping it conversational and direct.
5. User-Experience (UX) Grows in Importance
Google’s search algorithm is a mystery that a will, in all likelihood, never be fully understood by users, programmers, or marketers. With that being said, there are some website components that we know help improve overall search ranking.
Of increasing importance is the user-experience (UX) that takes place on a website. In fact, it’s becoming one of the most critical factors in terms of increasing search visibility.
So who gets to determine which sites have a good UX vs. bad UX? Like everything else, it’s an algorithm. In this case, one that measures “UX signals.” These signals include time average user time spent on a site, speed, and device compatibility.
Because of its impact on conversion rate, and now search ranking, optimizing your website with an increased emphasis on UX should prove to be a worthwhile investment in the coming years.
6. Automated Google Bidding
Digital marketers who work closely with Google know how much time and effort it takes to constantly make small adjustments and tweaks to campaigns in order to maximize cost-effectiveness.
With automated bidding, which allows Google to make adjustments and improvements to bidding in real-time, you’ll save both time and money. Although it isn’t necessarily a new product (it debuted in 2016), it is finally starting to become what Google intended when it was first rolled out.
Many Google experts are expecting 2021 to be the year when automated bidding takes over the industry. This means more time can be used on other components of PPC performance without sacrificing in other areas.
If you’re looking for more information on Google’s automated bidding system and strategies, check out this guide.
The digital landscape has been forever changed by the events of 2020. Both marketers and customers alike have adjusted their behavior to fit with an increasingly-digital day-to-day life.
Expect some of the residual effects of the pandemic to last well into 2021. Create strategies with the future in mind and customers will find you.
If your business needs any help in putting together a comprehensive 2021 marketing plan, get in touch today for a consultation.