2021 Digital Marketing Trends to Put on Your Radar

Planning for the new year begins way before we drink a cup of kindness (or this year a lot of booze) for days of auld lang syne. And while some are counting down the days…minutes…seconds until the Times Square ball drops us into 2021, we must recognize one stark fact, Covid-19 will be following us into the new year.

Yes, the pandemic will still be a part of our everyday lives on January 1st, but unlike 2020 you’ve learned to adapt, to survive. And in a time when so much seems to be uncertain, you’ve learned what strategies are effective when marketing to your target audience. Covid-19 has changed the way businesses connect and market to their target audience, so as you begin finalizing your marketing strategies for 2021, consider adding one or more of these trends that are sure to be a component in every marketer’s campaign.

Short form video

As the world continues to maintain some form of quarantined existence, video content has become emperor, king and czar. One thing that the rise of Tik Tok has taught us is that short-form video in particular has entertainment and marketing value. Tik Tok is the platform of choice for Gen Z, but Snapchat has undergone a major redesign and Facebook launched Instagram Reels to stay competitive in the social media race to supremacy. And given the increase in social media use among all generations, marketers are allocating a larger share of their budget (approximately 25%)  to social media.

Depending on the attention span of your target audience (Gen Z only gives 8-seconds), it’s important to create a video that balances branded messaging along with a relaxed look and feel. Think of the video John Boyega created for Jo Malone before he stepped down as their brand ambassador because he was replaced by a Chinese actor when the ad ran in China. The scandal created by the replacement of the Star Wars actor was unfortunate for the company and its brand, however the video itself was a clever piece of marketing that made a viewer want to live in that world Boyega created while subtly providing the right product placement and vibe.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation software has existed for years, but as technology  continues to develop and play a larger role in marketing,  marketing automation is becoming more mainstream, 67% of marketing leaders already use marketing automation tools. By using marketing automation you’ll be able to create personalized content, convert more leads and better track results.

Local SEO & Google Listings

For starters, if you don’t have an account with Google My Business, then sign up for one immediately. Once you’ve set up a profile on Google My Business you can use local SEO to attract more customers in your area to your business.  Google regularly updates their local SEO algorithm, so it’s important that you make sure that your business will appear in search engine results by updating your business’ information by creating keyword-rich content that will ensure your business is getting the right attention in the geographic location you’re looking to target.

Interactive Content

Want to keep your website and social media visitors more engaged in 2021? Add more interactive content. Great interactive content combines informative content, like blogs, with entertaining visual content, like videos or games. You can also create surveys, quizzes, polls and contests.

Segmentation

When going prospecting for new customers, it’s imperative to remember not to neglect your existing ones. Customer segmentation involves grouping your target audience by their shopping habits or other traits like demographics and enables a business to create content that speaks to their preferences. Segmentation also allows a business to save cost and improve customer retention rates. It takes less money to keep an existing customer than procure a new one. Using segmentation in your marketing strategy will help you to create more personalized content for a consumer that you’re already familiar with.

Inclusivity

And speaking of personalized content, the homogeneous content that has been used in marketing since the days of the Fifth Avenue ad man is so last century. And if you’re paying attention to the news feed on CNN, you’ll realize the need for inclusivity  is more necessary than ever before. In 2021, your marketing campaign should contain subject matters and content that includes various races, sexual orientations, religions, and disabilities across your social media and marketing platforms. Depending on your business, you can also display inclusivity in the products you offer.

No Click Searches

At the heart of all digital marketing rests Google and other search engines. Your SEO content is geared towards reaching a number one position in a search engine result. However, in 2021 marketers won’t be looking for position one, instead they’ll be looking for position zero. Position zero refers to Google’s featured snippet and has fast become the SEO marketing trend for the new year.  

Featured snippets are separated by a small box, which are located at the top of the search engine results and also displays extra information with the intent of answering the searcher’s question without them needing to click the link, hence the name “no-click search.”  Should you choose to begin using featured snippets, remember to use long-tailed keyword phrases.  Make sure you answer the search question in the content itself.

Ad-blockers blockers

In 2021, 27% of users are expected to employ ad blockers. Gen Z and other younger audiences find display ads to be a nuisance. Should your ads get added to a user’s “block list”, reallocate your advertising budget to other campaigns, such as influencer marketing or sponsored content.

Digital marketing is an ever changing landscape but knowing which trends to include in your campaigns increases the chances your strategies will yield better results and offer an improved ROI.

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