Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the year 2020 forced marketers and brands strive even more to survive its unpredictable events. However, despite these uncertain times, digital marketing has become a boon.
While the digital age had started changing lives across various verticals and industries for several years already, the current year saw it grow exponentially. In fact, for some businesses that were forced to stop operations and close shops, digital marketing became a go-to alternative to stay on top of the game.
So, regardless of your plans for 2021, whether you’re ready for the new challenges in the business world, here are the marketing trends you shouldn’t miss out on to gain a competitive edge.
Improved Availability of Communication Channels
Since most people are advised to stay or work from home, it’s important that your business has an available line of communication to accommodate your customer’s concerns or inquiries. The best solution you can consider is the use of toll-free numbers like 800 numbers to answer all the inquiries of your existing and potential customers.
The good thing about toll-free numbers is that they not only enable your customers to contact your business anytime, they also don’t them bog down with additional charges. Plus, toll-free numbers are easy to remember and can help your business establish a more professional presence.
If you don’t have a dedicated telephone line for your business yet, make sure to get one as soon as possible. For more information about getting toll-free numbers, you can visit Call Cowboy.
Video advertising is basically promotional content which plays during, before, or after streaming content.
As more and more people watch video ads, new opportunities have emerged for marketers to showcase their service or product. Other than being engaging and informative, they also convey useful and relevant information in a short amount of time. In addition, video advertising helps explain the service or a product better than other ad formats, which results in greater recall value.
However, you should be careful with creating video ads. Ensure that they’re perceived as relevant and genuinely valuable. The video ad’s placement also matters since the goal is to make advertising content minimally disruptive. If your ad appears where there’s a natural break in the programming, like before the presenter discusses a new topic, the viewers may be more willing to tune in.
More Interactive Content
One of the best ways to provide value to visitors is to add interactive elements to your social media page or website. Such content enables your prospects to learn more about your business and engage with your brand.
For example, if you’re a realtor and you add an effective but simple mortgage calculator to your site, you’re offering value to your visitors while learning more about them based on their input on the calculator. In turn, this information can help you offer targeted marketing to your visitors or followers.
Some examples of interactive marketing include the following:
- Interactive videos
A contest is a good way to increase your visibility and reach quickly, which is essential when you want to grow your business. It’s also the best way to get your brand in front of new prospects without spending too much money. All you have to do is to have your existing customers share the post about the contest.
You can also take a step further by making it a referral contest, which promises great rewards to existing clients who help bring in new business.
Artificial intelligence, more widely known as AI, is being implemented in various ways across different business marketing strategies and processes. One may use it to analyze available data, improve communications, predict customer behavior patterns, and track operations. AI is a crucial tool in reducing manual, repetitive work.
AI has become more accessible to businesses and is now considered a valuable tool for marketers. AI can be used to improve your customer’s satisfaction level as it can help in assessing and identifying what customers want from your business. It can also influence the choice of customers by providing relevant recommendations as per their preferences and behavior. Moreover, it helps in growing your brand by helping you meet all the expectations of your customers.
There’s no doubt that social media is the most beneficial and biggest platform for marketing online. With the introduction of Pinterest Shopping Catalogs and Ads, Instagram shops, and Facebook Shops, social commerce is one of the biggest marketing trends in 2021.
Since many shoppers make purchases through social media channels such as Pinterest, Facebook, or Instagram, it’s important for your business to start embracing social commerce by making your products and service available on social media.
Due to the pandemic, today’s norm in the world of business includes shoppable posts. More customers tend to purchase when presented with a streamlined shopping experience. With social commerce, brands have the chance to optimize the shopping experience across different platforms and channels, enabling their customers to acquire products with ease.
User Generated Content
As its name implies, UGC, or user generated content, is any kind of content created by users or customers instead of the brands. As an authentic form of word-of-mouth marketing, UGC is a perfect way for brands to make themselves more relatable and accessible to their audience.
Because of the fame of influencer marketing, UGC has become the core of the marketing strategies of many companies. Most of them now repurpose the content of their customers and followers. It’s proven to outperform any content created by brands, so enlisting your customers to not just generate your content, but market it for you as well, can be a great marketing strategy.
While UGC isn’t a new trend, due to social distancing restrictions and lockdown this year, there’s a huge increase in UGC as many businesses adapt to the digital landscape and look to their customers to craft the content they like to see. For instance, some brands used UGC for their holiday campaigns, which featured footage and images of families at home during the lockdown.
The appeal of UGC is the increased level of relatability and authenticity that it offers. With social media platforms becoming an endless stream of unattainable lifestyles and sponsored posts, there’s an emerging appetite for more authentic representation of experiences, ordinary people, and lifestyles, most particularly during this year’s social change and crisis.
UGC should be on the top of your list of marketing strategies because consumers tend to engage with it more. After all, nothing says authenticity and trust like content created by other consumers and users about a product or a brand. It’s also serves as a valuable form of feedback, which is a reflection of the experience of your consumers. UGC humanizes the brands while empowering consumers at the same time.
Automated Bidding and Smart Bidding Strategies on Google Ads
An automated bidding strategy enables Google to analyze huge amounts of data and adjusts the bids in real-time. It helps in maximizing the result based on your campaign goals.
The first thing you should know in automated bidding strategies is selecting the right strategy for your business model. Automated bidding is available for both display and search ads. Smart bidding may also come in handy. It includes a lot of conversion-based strategies, such as the following:
- Enhanced PPC
- Maximizing conversions
- Maximizing clicks
It also provides auction-time bidding that helps in optimizing conversions.
In 2021, influencer marketing will continue to solidify its position as the key channel for most consumer brands. Many businesses have used social media influencers to present unbiased advertising to appeal to customers and prospects.
The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the impact that influencers have on the purchase of the products because of the limited ability to shop at local stores.
The use of social media has also increased during this pandemic; and this trend may continue as there are still no certainties about next year’s new norm. Because of this, businesses should take advantage of social media influencers as more and more people tend to purchase the products that influencers use.
The best thing about considering influencer marketing is that influencers can give their honest opinions about the brand and its products and speak on a more personal level. So, if you want your brand, products, or services to be recognized in the market, don’t hesitate to work with influencers in your marketing efforts.
Local SEO And Google Listings
If you’re running a small business, you need to ensure that your local listings are updated and verified on different search platforms. This is because for businesses that draw customers on a local level, the listing on Google My Business offers more valuable information about your hours, geographical location, and service. It’s one of the important platforms if you want to get your business exposed and visible to your prospects.
When implementing Google listings and local SEO, make sure that there’s a geographically defined service area in your local listings that would help your business visible when consumers do “near me” searches. It’s because most search engines like Google prioritize relevance. It may be counterintuitive to reduce your business service radius, but this may help you appear often in search results.
Just ensure that your listings are updated, so your customers will know the changes in your promotions, service hours, blogs, or other information you’d like to convey.
It may not be part of the current algorithm, but queries using voice search often yield different results compared to a text-based search. When it comes to SEO, it’s a great idea for businesses to be on their toes with some voice search components so their consumers can easily adapt and switch over to this medium.
If you want to take advantage of the power of voice search, your content should be optimized specifically for voice. It should be more conversational and direct, so it’ll sync with the search queries. This will also help improve traffic to your website by making it more visible and relevant to consumers. If you’re new to voice search, make sure to ask for help from professionals to get better results.
In comparison to text-based content, nothing beats the power of online videos. That is the reason why it should be part of your digital marketing plan. By integrating live streaming into your marketing, your business can improve its customer engagement rate.
Also, the sense of urgency and anticipation may render high conversion rates among the users. So, if you pair live videos with micro-influencers, it’s possible for you to attract more prospects in the long run.
One marketing trend to try in 2021 is customer segmentation. The concept behind it is simple. Rather than several big marketing campaigns aimed at a general audience, try to have many small-scale marketing campaigns that target certain groups.
With customer segmentation, you group your audience by identified behaviors or traits such as shopping habits or demographics. It enables you to tailor your content more accurately to suit their preferences. For instance, you can create individual email lists for small and big spenders, then send unique newsletters featuring a variety of hand-picked products.
This strategy may work best for customer engagement and personalization as your prospects get tailored content. On top of email lists, you can implement customer segmentation by using specialized ads, create social media content for various communities, and build different categories of blog posts.
These days, most consumers no longer enjoy generic ads that have no connection to them. Instead, consumers find personalized services and products more appealing. So, as a business owner, one of the marketing trends you should try in 2021 is personalization.
Basically, personalization is tailoring content or user experience based on the information that your business has learned about your prospects. To provide a personalized experience to your customers, you need to use data and audience analytics to meet your consumer’s individual needs. You can gather data by tracking your customers’ actions and behavior on your website.
With the marketing trends above, you’ll now have a better idea about how you can plan your marketing strategy for 2021. Once implemented successfully, these trends may help your business generate more leads, boost your website traffic, and increase sales.