The digital marketing landscape faces frequent changes making it almost impossible to pinpoint what the future holds.
However, the paradigm shift that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused in the business world has left many marketers and agencies anticipating and predicting digital marketing strategies 2021 to stay ahead of the curve.
So far, 2020 has seen more businesses move their products and services online and employees working remotely. Consequently, the ongoing pandemic will see companies invest more in digital marketing strategies to leverage the shifting business environment. What’s more, employees will continue to work remotely, or at least in a hybrid setting, in 2021.
So what are the key digital marketing trends to consider in 2021? Well, you need to engage and retain your current customers and generate more online traffic and leads to increase your sales and revenue. Below are nine trends to consider.
Digital Marketing Strategies in 2021
1. Increased Use of Social Media to Engage and Retain
Prepare to dedicate more marketing resources to social media strategies in 2021. During Q2 of 2020, social media marketing budgets accounted for nearly 24% of the total marketing budgets in the U.S., up from 13% in 2019. In 2020, marketers increasingly made customer retention and lead generation a top priority, which will continue well into 2021.
2020 saw more people increase their time online, including how they researched products, brands, and organizations. The consumer shift created new opportunities for marketers to use inbound digital marketing to reach new audiences and re-engage long-time ones. You can develop a content plan, make regular posts and updates, monitor and drive customer responses and reviews, and attract new business.
2. The Rise of Micro-Influencers
Influencers are people who have built and demand a commendable social following by producing quality, engaging content. They can be Instagram stars, YouTube celebrities, or Facebook and Twitter influencers.
Influencers are often relatable, and their followers trust them. Therefore, the opinions they convey can influence their target audience’s behaviors, a trait that most brands want. When you leverage an influencer’s position, you can connect with customers, build brand awareness, and promote your content and products.
In 2021, brands will increasingly turn to micro-influencers as they explore incorporating influencer marketing into their digital marketing mix. The lower cost and higher ROI offset the issues that arise from working with micro-influencers, such as extra management work and resources.
3. Interactive Marketing Content
Providing interactive elements to your website and social media platforms is a great way to retain visitors, offer them value, increase their engagement with your brand and content, and learn more about them.
For instance, realtors can add a mortgage calculator to their website that offers great value to visitors and increase their engagement. It also allows you, the realtor, to learn more about your visitors based on the data they key into the calculators. You can then use the information collected to refine your personas and offer-targeting.
4. Video Content
Cisco’s Annual Internet Report (2018-2023) predicts that video content will amount to 82% of all Internet traffic, which is a marketers’ gold mine. HubSpot also reports that 54% of consumers prefer more video content from brands.
Therefore, in 2021, it’s essential to use various video content formats that fit your brand, niche, and industry and optimize them throughout the customer’s journey. Ensure that you brand all your videos properly to portray your brand, values, and tone of voice to make them impactful and memorable.
5. Increased Use of Google Listings and Local SEO
If you manage or own a business, the best thing you can do to increase walk-in customers and your online presence is to verify and keep current on your local listings on the various search platforms available to you.
For B2C businesses that rely primarily on local customers (like a car dealership or dental office), online listing services like Google My Business are invaluable. These services offer information such as your services, service hours, and geographical location.
6. Mobile Inbound Marketing
Mobile is an integral part of consumers’ daily lives, and more people are consuming online content on their devices. Mobile marketing produces instantaneous results and has a huge viral potential. As a result, brands will continue optimizing their content and websites for mobile devices in 2021.
7. Personalizing Content for the Consumer
Content personalization is now a useful marketing tool, thanks to the increased online traffic in 2020. It helps you build effective sales email campaigns, educate your audience, drive new and repeat business to your website, and achieve other goals in the digital realm.
However, personalization in 2021 will go beyond customizing email messages. It will include artificial intelligence (AI) input to make data analyses more effective and efficient to allow hyper-personalization. AI solutions can help you select the perfect email template for the target individual and craft content that fits their needs. It will also enable you to make better content decisions in the future.
Therefore, invest in AI-driven software and use hyper-personalization to target customers based on their past activity and browsing history in 2021. It will skyrocket their customer experience.
8. Chatbots and AI will Supplement Content Creation and Delivery
AI and chatbots will enhance content creation and delivery strategies and become inextricable parts of the global user experience. AI will fuel the content creation process through the supply of relevant data, source information, references, and the provision of authority to the content your marketers write.
Furthermore, as chatbots become smarter, they will deliver information and support marketing campaigns seamlessly.
9. Optimizing Content Strategy for Voice Search
Voice search is presently not a part of Google’s search algorithm, the largest and most popular search engine globally. However, it still dictates search results. Marketers expect voice search to become more popular due to several factors like the increased use of mobile digital personal assistants like the Siri app.
Therefore, it’s pertinent to be on your toes with voice search components for consumers who adapt and switch over to the medium. Optimize your online content for voice and make it direct and conversational to leverage and accurately synch with search queries.
Digital marketing is continually changing, with new trends cropping up and evolving all the time. Today, digital marketing involves more than creating amazing content and optimizing it for search engines.