Digital Marketing Trends For 2021

There is no doubt that digital marketing is a constantly shifting landscape, with each year bringing new trends to the table. In the last year or two alone, we have seen the rise of AI that has opened up the digital space to offer a far greater level of customization than ever before. We have also seen smaller shifts in how customers are reached, along with steady shifts in various digital marketing channels, from SEO to social media. One of the greatest things about digital marketing is its ability to adapt as new technologies are discovered and new ways of reaching customers are explored.

As we get closer towards the end of 2020 and the start of 2021, we’re taking a look at some of the most noteworthy digital trends that are emerging. Keep reading to find out how you can keep your campaigns up to date as you embrace new and emerging strategies to take your results to the next level.

Digital Marketing Trends For The Year Ahead

Although blindly following trends is not at all what digital marketing is about, staying aware of current trends is an excellent way to discover new strategies and approaches that can maximize your results. The best way to get the most from any trend is to integrate it within your broader digital strategy. This is why a multi-channel or omnichannel approach becomes the most effective way to get the most from your digital marketing efforts.

Some of the most interesting digital marketing trends for the year ahead that we will certainly be watching include the following:

Storytelling

Storytelling is not exactly a brand new concept in itself. Using the many new digital marketing methods that have become available will allow you to take your storytelling to a whole other level, however. The marketing sphere has become saturated with millions of campaigns across every conceivable channel, from video to text and social media. The days of bland, faceless content that appeals to a generic audience are over. Instead, what we are moving towards is an approach that integrates storytelling for a far more personal touch that allows audiences to make a genuine connection.

There are many ways that you could integrate storytelling into your digital marketing campaigns. Social media is naturally one of the most effective channels for this, but you could also look at maximizing your video campaigns with the addition of real-life people such as your team members. You could also use your website to show customers who you are. Behind the scenes content, photos of your team and other relatable content will all help you better tell your brand’s story.

Zero-Click Results

Google Snippets continues to shift the way that people find information in the SERPs. Rather than having to click through multiple results, users can get a quick snapshot of content directly from the search. Zero-click results are set to continue to rise as Google enables rich content in the SERPs. The result is a far simpler search experience and a far more streamlined search that delivers faster results for users.

For brands, this means making use of Snippets to present a condensed snapshot of your content that can be used in the SERPs. It also means that your content will have to gain attention quickly in order to be clicked on rather than scrolled past. Make sure that you optimize your pages carefully to get the most from this trend.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. If anything, AI is set to expand even further as we enter 2020 and beyond. From chatbots that provide a better user experience to customers to automated features that further add value, AI is spreading across the digital marketing landscape, into search, mobile marketing, eCommerce marketing, and many other areas.

Simply adding a chatbot to your site and then hoping for the best is not the way to go. Instead, you will need to also look at how you can optimize your chatbot and AI features to provide a better experience for your audience. Do some research into how you can enhance the customer experience and make use of testing to see what is working and what is not. This is the best way to get more from AI without ending up over-automating your website.

Live Video

Live video is another trend that is continuing to grow each year. Since Facebook launched its Live feature, in the moment video has become a popular feature for brands across all markets. What makes live video a valuable strategy is its interaction and engagement. Unlike traditional video, which is recorded and then published to platforms such as YouTube or Facebook, live video is filmed at the moment, with interaction that is also done at the moment.

The result is a far higher level of engagement. Viewers have the chance to ask questions or make comments and brands get the chance to interact directly with their audience throughout the video. Once the video has been done, it remains on social media pages, meaning that it can be viewed later if audiences missed the live viewing. There is also a chance to create hype and build excitement prior to the screening, to maximize views once the live video starts.

Visual & Voice Search

Google continues to pave the way when it comes to innovative search. Some of the biggest trends to watch in the search department include visual search as well as voice search. In visual search, images can be uploaded through an image search or a link to an image can be added. Pinterest is also making use of this feature. With voice search, searches can be done without having to type, using voice to ask questions. This follows the rise of Siri, Alexa, and other tools that have made way for such technology.

To make sure that your site can be found easily using both visual and voice search, it is imperative to optimize your website for both types of searches. Pay special attention to the keywords you use, the way you name image files, and the meta and content you use within your website pages.

Push Notifications

Finally, we have push notifications. Another trend that has slowly but surely been emerging in recent years, push notifications to use website browsers to send instant notifications to users. With email marketing regulations tightening all over the globe, brands are looking for new ways to reach audiences all the time. Push notifications offer a simple, minimally invasive way to send out messages at the right moment, while your audience is currently on your website.

Notifications that are based on behavior triggers are especially effective. In eCommerce marketing, these notifications can help to remind customers of items left in abandoned carts, inform customers of upcoming sales or special offers, and even share limited-time deals or discounts. Multi-media notifications can also be enabled, working hand in hand with calls to action to further encourage users to engage.

Digital Marketing Trends

With a brand new year around the corner, we’re looking forward to seeing how the digital landscape will continue to adapt and grow. These digital marketing trends will certainly be worth watching as the new year gets underway.

3 Reasons To Avoid A Generic Social Media Strategy

One of the biggest advantages of having a comprehensive social media strategy in place is that it ensures a consistent flow of original content rather than a flood of generic posts. Many businesses make the mistake of seeing social channels in isolation rather than looking at the bigger picture. The risk of this approach is posting the same content across every channel. While it may seem like a good way to save time and effort, this tactic can end up doing far more harm than good.

How A Generic Social Media Strategy Hurts Your Growth

Keep reading to find out how a generic social media strategy could just be the worst thing you could do for your business.

Why is it never a good idea to proceed with a generic social media strategy? Can a generic strategy really do that much harm to your growth? Let’s take a look…

1. Social Media Channels Do Not Exist In A Vacuum

Most people follow brands on more than one channel. When you assume that every platform has its own, completely separate audience, you run the risk of sharing social media content that is essentially the same across every channel. The problem with this is that you lose an opportunity to reach customers when you have a one-size-fits-all strategy rather than a unique strategy that is designed to offer original content across each unique channel.

2. Generic Content Makes You Seem Unoriginal

Imagine for a moment that a customer follows you on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. That customer also reads your blog. Would they stick around to see the same updates shared across every channel? Or, would they quickly lose interest? When your content is systematically shared across every channel in a way that is less than inspiring, your entire brand will start to seem boring, unoriginal, and uninspired. This is never great for engagement.

3. A Well-Rounded Strategy Should Be Diverse

That means not only sharing unique content that is designed for each specific channel but also incorporating content that is not from your own website or blog. If you are worried about sending traffic to other websites, it is worth noting that sharing external content can actually help you grow your own presence. A well-rounded, diverse strategy makes your business look good. It also helps to position your brand as an industry leader who is up to date on industry trends.

Rather than seeing social media as a chore, aim to see it as a way to connect with your audience. This way, you will avoid a generic social media strategy and continue to provide your followers with fresh, original content.

Effective Lockdown Shopping Communication For Your Online Store

Timing and proactivity are both essential when it comes to lockdown shopping communication. Keeping customers up to date is something you cannot afford not to do at this point. There have been many horror stories about local etailers failing to deliver, breaking promises, not responding to emails or calls, and angering customers in the process. Although there is no doubt that factors such as stock availability and supply chain bottlenecks are a major cause of problems at the moment, the issue is not so much on the problem itself but also how the problem is handled.

Lockdown Shopping Communication Campaigns

Keeping customers informed right from the start, from the moment they sign up for an account, is the best way to prevent lost sales. In this guide, we take a look at the most essential lockdown shopping communication campaigns you can run alongside your regular eCommerce marketing campaigns to avoid problems taking over.

Even though most eCommerce platforms already have these messages and processes in place, optimize the content and visuals so that it’s exactly in line with your online store. The messages you can optimize:

1. The reassurance email

This should be the first email in your sequence, to be sent after potential customers sign up for an account and receive their standard welcome email. For best results, it should be sent close to the welcome email so that customers know how you are operating before they make a purchase. In this email, your goal is to give customers peace of mind and tell them what you are doing to make shopping safer and easier. You could include a list of precautions you are taking with deliveries, clearly displayed customer care contact details, realistic delivery expectations, and anything else that sets customer minds at rest.

2. The incentive email

You can also give customers a little nudge to make them want to purchase. You don’t have to go overboard. Most stores offer discounts or points for new customers as it is, usually once customers have made their first purchase. Rather than a ‘tit for tat’ approach, think about how you can add genuine value, with nothing expected in return aside from happy customers. If you have a physical store, you could offer a click and collect option. If you are purely online, you could offer free delivery during the lockdown, regardless of order size.

3. The logistics email

Finally, the most important email of all is the logistics email. This one will be sent after an order has been placed, and after the order confirmation has been sent. In this email, you are clearly outlining your delivery procedure and times along with any points relating to stock availability. It is better to be on the side of caution and give a longer delivery date rather than a shorter one. If there are unforeseen delays and you have promised delivery in a few days, you will have unhappy customers. If any problems arise after between order and delivery, be sure to keep customers updated. Make it as easy as possible for customers to track their order or speak to someone if they have concerns.

Lockdown Shopping Communication

When you plan out these emails and make sure that they are all about the customer rather than a chance to promote or sell, you will have a good chance of building loyalty and driving more sales in the process. Put some thought into your messaging campaigns to see how you can perfect your lockdown shopping communication strategy.

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