Predicting future trends may feel daunting, considering the way 2020 unfolded. Many things impacted the business and digital landscape, such as socio-political, economic, unpredictable weather, and, of course, our new nemesis, the coronavirus pandemic, causing a lot of marketers and entrepreneurs to scramble to keep up.
Here are some 2021 digital marketing trends that your business needs to consider:
Businesses should be prepared to dedicate more resources to social media marketing and here’s why. Social media budgets already went up during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, since the amount of time people spend online – including how they research products, services, brands, and companies – has dramatically increased. Business owners and marketers have been increasingly making customer retention a priority, and this will continue in 2021.
New opportunities have presented themselves for marketers to increase their reach with new audiences and to re-engage with long-time customers. For a small investment, a good social media plan can be developed to include quality content, regular posts, monitoring and driving customer responses, and attracting new business.
Google Listings and Local SEO
If your business relies on local customers, one of the most important things you can do is ensure your local listings are verified and kept current on various search platforms. For B2C businesses that attract customers primarily on a local level, the Google My Business listing provides valuable information about your services, products, hours, and geographical location.
Since many search engines (especially Google) prioritize relevance in their search algorithms, having a geographically-defined service area within your local listings will help your business show up in “near me” searches. Keep your listings updated to ensure your customers know of any changes in your hours, promotions, or any other information you would like to convey in a timely manner.
The availability of products and services is the number one reason customers would switch their brand loyalty now, and timely communication becomes paramount.
Marketing agencies need to get creative in how to meet this challenge. For instance, for high-volume items, consider placing a banner on your site to indicate when key products will be in-stock.
Collect customer contact information and create a subscriber list and be proactive with notifying customers of availability changes with an automated text or email.
Google Ads marketers continually tweak and adjust campaigns, keywords, and bids to achieve the best results. However, it all comes at a cost – more hours and higher fees. Entering Automated bidding will allow Google to automate previous moves to adjust your bid in real-time.
Automated bidding has been around since 2016, but continuous improvements, especially in the past year, mean we can look forward to even more enhancements and higher success in 2021. Relying on automated bidding tactics more and more will allow you to focus your time on optimizing other aspects of Pay-Per-Click Performance, which ultimately delivers a better outcome at a lower cost to your clients.
While currently not a part of Google’s algorithm, voice search still dictates current search results, and those queries often yield different results than if the user types in a text-based search.
For SEO purposes, businesses should start to consider the voice search factors for their consumers who are adapting and switching over to that tool.
Voice search experts say that content must be specifically optimized for voice and needs to be more direct and conversational, to help ensure it accurately syncs with search queries. This will help boost your traffic by staying relevant and more visible to the audience.
We all know that it takes less money and effort to keep existing customers than earn new ones. This is why marketing experts always recommend employing more effort into later stages of the consumer’s journey. Happy customers tend to tell their friends and provide referrals, and are also more likely to give you direct and honest feedback about issues that will only strengthen your brand, ultimately increasing your revenue.
Collecting data and segmenting your clientele will give you an opportunity to save costs while focusing on delivering your products and services. Be sure to keep them informed on your business changes or processes that would impact your relationship and their loyalty through email marketing and/or engaging with them on social media.
Adding interactive features to your website or social media is a great way to provide value for existing and potential customers, learn more about them, and get them to engage with your brand. The info you collect can help you refine your personas and offer-targeting.
Interactive content can include assessments, quizzes, games, surveys, contests, and videos – all great ways to exponentially increase your reach and visibility, quickly. The fastest way to get your brand in front of lots of new prospects, inexpensively, is to have your current customers share a Facebook post of a contest or game. You can take it a step further and make it a referral contest, perhaps offering an appealing reward to the client who helps bring in the most new business.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted employees and productivity in many ways. For some, this was the first time they’ve ever worked remotely, and for many it’s been very challenging; some have reduced hours. Add to that the regulations and restrictions, and what we have seen is that employee morale is suffering, and productivity along with it.
As a manager or business owner, make sure your employees are taken care of and that they stay motivated. Connectivity is crucial; even though you may not be in the office, you’re still all working together toward the same common goal. Set-up multiple communication channels; break down projects into sizable chunks and set clear milestones; ensure that you check in with each team member and share successes with the entire team on each channel.
These digital marketing trends certainly don’t represent a complete list, but they are a good place to start to help you engage and retain current customers and generate more traffic, leads, and revenue. In your 2021 marketing strategy, set the foundation by shifting more resources to social media and local search, adding more personalized and interactive content, and improving the engagement within your teams.
If you want a more detailed and tailored approach to propel your business forward in 2021 – our team of seasoned consultants are ready to work together with you to create the best Internet Marketing strategies for your business.
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