Digital marketing hasn’t changed all that much in the last few years. The formula has remained largely the same, requiring businesses to optimize their websites for search engine algorithms, develop content that readers and web visitors find interesting and beneficial, and implement strategic pay-per-click (PPC) ad campaigns.
Comrade Digital Marketing has mastered these principles, but we’re always evolving with the times, and 2021 absolutely poses new challenges to businesses.
In 2020, we saw some interesting developments get underway, and digital marketing in 2021 is about to reveal even more fundamental changes that businesses must understand to continue growing online.
Of all the digital marketing changes we’ve seen in recent years, the massive increase in online competition through 2020 is among the most significant.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting businesses globally, the internet has become more important than ever. Businesses are more online than they ever have been, with more products and services available online and more competition on the search engines.
Greater competition online means previously successful digital marketing campaigns were disrupted, forcing businesses to adapt.
Digital marketing requires more than just making a website look good, though that is also an important part of any online marketing strategy.
After 2020, businesses need digital marketing experts who can solve their problems, address pitfalls in their online strategy, and adapt to the increasing competition on the search engine results pages.
So, how will digital marketing change in 2021? Comrade Digital Marketing has a good grasp of this. We know what to expect, and we know how to help our clients.
In this piece, we’ll explore how digital marketing will change over the next year, considerations for your business, and how we can help you succeed in the face of new challenges.
While many online businesses already handle the problem of customers not being able to hold the product in their hands, it is an entirely new hurdle to overcome for some brands. With many retail stores closed due to the state the national economy, and with lockdown measures having required stores to close for so long, customers have become more accustomed to not touching products before purchasing them.
However, the challenge for online businesses is ensuring customers know that the products they are purchasing are of good quality.
There are ways to overcome this.
If you haven’t already heard of influencer marketing, now is the time to learn! This is a form of marketing that utilizes popular bloggers and social media stars to promote your products. It’s particularly important when customers can’t touch the product themselves before purchasing.
Influence marketing in 2021 has grown substantially. A recent study showed that 40% of people who watch influencers on their social media would purchase a product when they see it used by an influencer they like on Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.
When people can’t visit a store, the details on your website and the user experience (UX) are more important than ever.
When potential customers search your product pages, they’ll want to see as much information about your products as possible. Engaging and thorough product descriptions are among the top UX trends in 2021 as they help customers get a feel for what you’re offering. Combined with reviews and ratings, you’ll be able to chip away at any doubt that may come from not being able to interact with the product physically.
Don’t forget video marketing! If people can’t feel a product, seeing it is the next best thing.
YouTube marketing (which utilizes the internet’s most popular online video service) can take a couple of different forms. It may utilize an influencer (see: influence marketing), or your business may choose to open a YouTube account and produce your own videos.
Similar video platforms like IGTV and TikTok are great options, too. Be sure to show off your product from many angles and provide lots of use cases to help people get a feel for what you’re offering.
As customers spend more time online and less in retail stores, there’s no reason why your website shouldn’t offer as much information as possible. You can do this in several ways.
Chatbots have come a long way. Once a difficult-to-use and error-laden system, chatbots use artificial intelligence technology to speak to customers as if they are real human customer service agents, providing information and answers to their questions.
Using a chatbot helps you:
Websites are more interactive than ever. It creates a higher engagement rate with visitors to your website, making people interact with your brand and products. It also increases the amount of data captured about visitors to your site and keeps people around for longer.
And when you develop interactive content people really enjoy, it also helps improve brand loyalty.
Some good examples of interactive content include:
Using the data you collect about customers, segment them according to buying habits and preferences. This helps you target customers through email and other digital marketing, promoting only the products and services you know they appreciate and are interested in learning more about.
Keep those customers happy, too, and they’ll be sure to tell their friends. Keep growing your customer base and segmenting them based on preferences, and you’ll see continued online growth.
The following sections will examine how you can best manage your traditional marketing channels through 2021. We’ll explore what PPC, social media advertising and SEO in 2021 will look like and what your brand can do to stay on top.
SEO is changing, and 2021 could bring a very different search landscape. SEO absolutely still works for eCommerce, but there are many technical changes for you to be aware of, which you can learn more about here.
Here are the three most important changes to SEO in 2021, in our view.
eMarketer found in 2019 that roughly 40% of all internet users in the United States use voice search, a feature most commonly found on smartphone devices. It’s estimated that 122.7 million online searchers will use the feature in 2021.
That means your website needs to be prepared to provide rich snippet information to search engines that respond to users asking voice assistants questions.
Content must be more than just page filler. Authoritative content drives organic search, brings new customers and readers to your website based on your content providing real value.
Create content that people need to read and sell your product and services while you have readers’ attention. Partner with other authoritative sources to improve your credibility.
Better UX may also drive organic search traffic. User experience is one of the core web vitals used by search engines to rank your site on search pages. Strengthening user experience by speeding up loading times, using videos, and avoiding stock images all play a part in bringing in new customers and driving search traffic.
During lockdown measures, customers learned to use local search to find open nearby or which offered delivery services. This trend is expected to continue through 2021.
There are many ways you can improve your local search credentials, which you can find out more about here.
Your brand must ensure that local searchers see you at the top of the page, either through rich snippets or by appearing on the first page of their search results.
More competition online means more businesses spending more money on PPC advertising. It’s not an easy situation for any business, but there are steps you can take to ensure your PPC campaign is as effective as possible.
Advertisers who create PPC campaigns that understand the buyer journey and their target audience will succeed next year. That means understanding what information customers need, what they might be searching for, and the online spaces that your target audience interacts with.
Automated bidding isn’t new, but it is more widely used now. This system allows you to automatically adjust your campaigns and keywords depending on what appears to be working best. It saves you time and lowers costs.
In 2010, mobile users only accounted for roughly 10% of online searches. Today, it’s over 50%.
Optimizing your website for mobile users not only improves your ranking on search engine results pages but it makes your site easier to use for online users and improves PPC rankings as a result.
Social media usage is soaring, making it an attractive place for businesses to interact with new customers. A study by Datareportal found that, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown measures, there are now 5.15 billion unique mobile users, with more than half of the world’s population using social media.
And those that already used social media are using it more often.
In 2021, businesses must adapt in three important ways to take full advantage of their social media platform.
We’ve talked about how many businesses struggle to give customers a chance to feel their products in their own hands before buying. Social media allows you to share your products’ photographs, whether through influencers or your own social media channels.
Show off your products with good quality photographs, detailed descriptions, and by offering use case examples.
Businesses must also consider ways to keep the audience following their feeds. While showing off products is important, it’s also necessary to interact with the audience and give people a reason to stick around.
Interacting with followers in the comments and even having fun with potential customers makes a social media feed feel more personal. That interaction is invaluable in developing a relationship and online personality for your brand.
Using the “use case” principle, video content also ensures your brand makes the best use of social media channels.
Video content that shows off your products and how it benefits customers is extremely powerful, particularly if customers can’t access a retail store. Businesses may wish to enroll influencers’ help for this, but review videos from real-life clients and customers are also compelling.
People sometimes like to watch more than they like to read!
2020 changed the digital marketing landscape, and 2021 will be no different.
While lockdown measures are likely to change, many businesses and brands that previously failed to embrace the power of social media and online marketing have now made that jump – and they aren’t going to go back to their old ways.
Online businesses may enjoy great online reach in 21 by combining traditional digital marketing methods with new strategies to cope with the additional competition.
For a consultation and to see how our digital marketing specialists can prepare your business for the year ahead, give us a call today or get in touch online!
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