There’s no denying that 2020 has been something of an unusual year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s turned most people’s lives upside-down and transformed how many businesses and organisations operate.
Some of the changes we’ve noticed include how more people are working remotely from home, and the upsurge in products and services bought online. With that in mind, the online marketing landscape has changed and given us an insight into the key trends for 2021.
Here are a selection of the top digital marketing trends in industry for 2021, allowing you to better plan for next year’s online marketing campaigns:
1. Social Media for Engagement and Retention
All business and organisations, including non-profits, will need to focus more of their resources on social media marketing during 2021. The COVID-19 crisis will likely continue into the first six months of next year.
And with that in mind, there will be more people doing online shopping and using social media than pre-COVID-19 levels. According to data compiled by Statista in March 2020, 40% of consumers spent longer on social media because of COVID-19.
Such a consumer shift means there are more opportunities for businesses and organisations to reach out to their audiences on social media. Strategies incorporating Facebook Messenger AI bots, for example, can boost engagement and retention on social media.
As 2020 draws to a close, now is the perfect time to think about how your business or organisation can incorporate social media into your digital marketing campaigns.
2. Interactive Site & Social Content for Added Value
The great thing about today’s website technologies is that you can make your content more interactive. Of course, interactivity isn’t just something you can apply to your website; you can also make your social media content more interactive.
Here are just some examples of what you might choose to do:
- Mortgage Lenders – an interactive calculator that provides instant mortgage quotes;
- Cosmetic Treatment Clinics – an interactive guide to different treatments, complete with embedded “before and after” videos;
- Non-Profit Organisations – an interactive donation meter to encourage people to help reach funding goals.
Other interactive examples could include things like quizzes, puzzles, and also polls and surveys. Interactive elements on websites and social media pages can significantly increase engagement rates and help you learn more about your target audience.
3. Local SEO
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a retail store or you operate solely as an online business. Local SEO is very relevant to your business or organisation, and 2020 has shown that to be the case.
While it’s true that some consumers search for products and services to buy online, many still want to buy from local or regional suppliers. There are many ways that you can focus on your local SEO strategies as part of your digital marketing campaigns.
Firstly, you can populate information about your brand with a “Google My Business” (GMB) listing. It’ll provide consumers with valuable information about who you are, what you do, and when you’re open for business.
If you operate from retail premises, your GMB listing will be crucial at delivering results to consumers in your area. Plus, it’ll add a marker link to your brand’s profile when consumers search with either Google Search or Google Maps.
Secondly, your digital marketing campaign for 2021 should include adding or improve local SEO landing pages on your website. These should be pages with unique content aimed at consumers living or working in specific areas that you service.
Keeping on top of your local SEO helps your brand be relevant to your audience, and ultimately results in more sales or brand exposure.
4. Increased Employee Engagement
Many employers have asked their teams to work remotely from home to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. While working from home may have seemed like a great idea to many employees at first, the novelty will have soon worn off.
A significant proportion of remote workers struggle to get their work done at home due to distractions from children, their partners, pets; you name it! As a result, morale and productivity began to suffer.
You might be wondering what employee engagement has to do with digital marketing trends for your brand. The answer, it turns out, is “quite a lot!”
Part of 2021’s digital marketing trends will include additional measures for teams to communicate efficiently with customers – even if that means communicating with them from home.
Examples of such measures might include online chats systems, video calls, and access to stock and sales ordering systems from home. Those examples will improve employee engagement with consumers, but what about the links between staff and their employers?
Business leaders will undoubtedly provide multiple communication channels and extra support for their remote teams. They’ll also distribute project tasks across all workers more fairly to create manageable workloads.
5. Voice Searching
It’s no secret that consumers turn to digital assistants for searching online. Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Amazon’s Alexa are just three notable examples that millions of people use each day to search the Web.
The SEO landscape is ever-changing and evolving, and 2021 will undoubtedly be the year that voice searching becomes more of a “thing” than in previous years. We’ve seen how Google’s algorithms got tweaked to prioritise mobile-friendly sites.
With most people using smartphones and tablets to search, websites optimised for voice searching is the next change you can expect from Google in the coming months. Did you know that 20% of all Google searches get done by voice?
Some of the tweaks you’ll need to make your site compatible with voice searching include:
- Tweaking text content for a more natural flow;
- Incorporating an “FAQ” (Frequently Asked Questions) section;
- Embracing long-tail keywords for better optimisation.
6. Automated Google Ads Bidding
One final trend to consider for 2021’s digital marketing trends is automated bidding on the Google Ads platform. The various improvements Google has made to their Ads system in recent years means auto-bidding will be both popular and more reliable.
What that means for you is you can devote your time and energy to other SEO resources in your digital marketing campaigns. Soon, there will be no need to watch your Ads campaigns like a hawk and continually adjust bids!