Thanks to the pandemic, the retail landscape has dramatically transformed, with customers forging new shopping habits and upping their expectations for brands. Digital marketing has evolved just as much, with the development of virtual platforms to replace in-person experiences and campaign redesigns to acknowledge the new reality. Yet, given the rapid onset of new technologies, behaviours, and trends, skilled marketers must look even further into the future.
So, come 2021, will content still be king? Which platforms should brands invest in? How can marketers best engage and retain customers? It’s never too early to start researching, strategizing, and planning — here are our predictions of 2021 digital marketing trends that all marketers should keep an eye out for.
Social Media For Engagement & 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. 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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.