2020 will be remembered as an extremely transformational year, and one of great digital marketing expansion. As we enter into the new year, it’s clear that many digital marketing trends that started gaining traction in 2020 are only growing more influential. Although it was unfortunately a global pandemic that caused a swift change in the business and marketing landscape, the long-term effects for business owners look very optimistic. Digital capabilities are the centerpiece of this new era.
We have more face time with our digital devices now more than ever. This was on the rise pre-pandemic, with a 173% increase in remote work between 2005 and 2018. Now, 18% of the workforce works from home full time, with more companies starting to pursue this option. It results in less social interaction and more screen time.
Marketers have a responsibility to ensure they are using this increased screen time appropriately. Consumers demand personalization. We know the customer comes first and we must put that into practice with the digital marketing trends for 2021.
Here’s what to look out for and build upon:
Conversational marketing offers a more personalized approach to your sales process. It’s accomplished by using one-at-a-time questions tailored to the consumer’s search. The goal is for the automated conversation to feel just like a real conversation. Each answer they give would prompt a new question, so it’s important you have this process buttoned up.
This process allows you to build relationships and gather information in a more engaging way, rather than through forms. Live Chat and Chat Bots are examples of this. Interested in conversational marketing? Here are some recommended software options.
If users do not have a good experience on your website or throughout their journey, most will simply opt-out. User experience (UX) is crucial to your SEO and capturing maximum sales. Google has started ranking websites based on UX, it may be time to reevaluate the experience you offer to your customers. Is your site easily navigated? Does it load fast? Is it mobile friendly? These are questions to consider when optimizing for UX.
One component of the SEO focus is on how people search. Google aims to optimize semantic search, taking an incomplete, seemingly random search query, and produce the appropriate results. Users often type searches in the form of questions, “can I”, “should I”, “how to”. It’s a good idea to take advantage of keywords people are actually using.
More on keyword fundamentals here.
It may depend on the type of content you’re recording, but long-form videos are producing promising results. 88% of video marketers report that their videos result in a positive ROI. It’s important to know when to take advantage of long-form videos as opposed to shorter clips – it’s all about finding the right audience for your videos. HubSpot offers a guide on long-form videos.
Are you a small business owner unsure if you should take on video marketing at all? Check out these benefits.
Zero Click Search Results
A zero-click search is another way Google has improved its digital experience. Zero-click searches are results that generate at the top of the results page, eliminating the need for you to click any further for the information you’re looking for. Be sure to have all of your business information updated on Google, and if your goal is to end up at the top of the results, start creating YouTube content.
Companies are taking a closer look at their websites. Does your website compare to your competitors? Are you up to speed with SEO elements, security, and design? We can be certain that in 2021, companies will increase the media on their sites. We can expect more videos, animations, as well as improved landing pages.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a Google account where you list your business. It’s free and important to have considering the high demand for local search. It gives your business a presence on Google Search and Google Maps, the number one mapping service. With Google My Business, you can post updates, monitor how your customers are interacting with your business on Google, update business details, and respond to reviews.
Last Thoughts on Digital Marketing Trends for 2021
Keep an eye on the above trends so your business can get ahead of the curve. One of the biggest takeaways is to always put the customer first. Personalize what you can and incorporate empathy into your marketing strategies. Consumers are far more active in their brands now than ever before. They do their research and choose brands that are easy to work with and treat people well. Consumers will remember brands that make an effort to create positive change, and that’s where a lot of them will choose to spend their money.