Digital marketing trends for 2021 • Digital Dot

Digital marketing trends for 2021

Facts are facts, no matter how many times we repeat them. And the fact that 2020 has changed the world as we know it and will continue to do so in the years to come is undeniable. All industries are feeling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and its influence on consumers. And digital marketing has a view of the bigger picture of the entire situation. In the past, we explored SEO trends for 2020, before everything started to change. Today, we take a step back to look at the upcoming digital marketing trends for 2021.

What we’ve learned about the winds of change that the past year has brought is that both search engines and consumers are asking for a more personalized approach in marketing. Due to the drastic increase in online shopping and remote purchases, buyers are looking to bridge that lack of physical contact with businesses through personalized engagement through content. And so, companies need to invest in tailoring digital marketing campaigns to answer the needs of their target audiences. However, you can’t afford to neglect the importance of incorporating SEO fine-tuning and optimization. And so, professional digital marketing agencies need to find a formula that offers great content with sufficient nuances of SEO to make it worth ranking.

Top ten digital marketing trends for 2021

Laptop screen with '2021 - what's new' shown on it.
Start exploring trends that can help improve your current digital marketing efforts.

#1: Brand inclusion

With less time to focus on travel and everything it entails, people are spending more time than ever at home. As a result, people are more aware of the issues and struggles not only around them but on a global scale. More and more people are turning toward activism, taking up causes, and expecting businesses to support those causes. So, companies will want to avoid the generic headlines that focus solely on their business efforts in 2021.

Instead, you need to demonstrate inclusivity in trending causes. Digital marketing efforts should explore a variety of topics related to race, sexuality, healthier lifestyles, religion, etc. Customers want to match their beliefs with the core values of the company they buy products or services from.

  • Popular studies show that over 40 percent of consumers in 2020 switched retailers because they did not reflect the importance of identity and diversity.

Consider enriching your business with causes that your brand will support and stand by, to gain the affection of target audiences, especially younger ones. Start from social media marketing strategies and move on to other digital marketing channels.

#2: Chasing after featured snippets

While the primary goal of SEO is still to rank in the leading SERP position, many marketers are advising and working toward gaining featured snippets for their clients. The logic behind this goal is simple enough – you want to bypass the top positions and get that “ground zero” spot on the first page of search results.

Unlike the other results that only show the SEO title and meta description, the featured snippet offers additional information that creates a higher engagement rate with customers. Some might argue that featured snippets are no-click search results that give users the answers they need without visiting your website. And there is some truth to this. But there is also truth in the fact that gaining featured snippets bring credibility and authority to the content you create and to your brand.

  • SEO statistics show that more than 40 percent of voice search results come from featured snippets.

In conclusion, chasing after featured snippets is definitely something that SEO agencies will advise for. However, there are certain ways of doing this. You need to focus on long-tail keywords and make sure to provide very clear and precise answers, preferably in the structured format of bulleted lists.

#3: Sustainability

With all the chaos that 2020 has brought about, people have become more aware of the impact that everyday presence has on the environment. People have come to understand the impact of urban life on our planet, and more want to contribute to change. So, much like with global inclusion we mentioned earlier, consumers in 2021 will expect companies to take responsibility and become more eco-friendly. As a result, sustainability is counted among the digital marketing trends for 2021 to nurture and share with target audiences.

The best way for a business to accomplish this is to integrate environmentalism into their brand story through the use of:

  • Promotional banners and trust badges;
  • Social media marketing awareness campaigns;
  • Email marketing newsletter campaigns;
  • Reusable products and green products with your logo;
  • Blog articles;
  • Organized charities and fundraisers;
  • etc.

#4: Re-routing from ad-blockers

Customers are getting more and more tired of the endless pile of ads that keep popping up online. As a result, more and more consumers are now using ad-blockers on their browsers. And this is causing a lot of difficulties for paid advertising efforts. Certainly, not all companies will be as affected by this obstacle. However, those that tend to rely more on PPC, paid social media ads, paid business listings, etc. will definitely feel the consequences. And so, you need to switch your approach to taking the enlightened route around the ad-blockers in 2021.

Instead of wasting energy on figuring out how to get customers to turn off their ad-blockers, invest in less intrusive digital marketing campaigns such as:

  • Influencer marketing.
  • Video marketing.
  • Driving organic traffic.

#5: SEO for images and videos

People are used to searching for images and videos by typing in keywords. However, as new digital marketing trends in 2021 unravel, you will find that more and more people use existing images to conduct online searches. Visual search techniques are evolving, and marketers are noticing this, ready to make use of it through the adaptation of their SEO strategies.

Therefore, you should start by covering your bases with all the familiar steps of optimizing your visual campaigns:

  • Make sure that all your images have ‘alt’ text in the description.
  • Create a separate image sitemap file or add images to your current sitemap.
  • Include relevant keywords in the file name for images and videos.
  • Focus on using HD quality images and videos.

The next thing you want to do is explore Google Lens. That will help you generate more traffic from consumers that do online image searches for products or barcodes.

#6: Interactive content

With so many people shopping from home, they need a unique buying experience, and interactive content can offer just that. Although this particular advertising approach has been around for a while, it has just recently started to gain more recognition in terms of the revenue it can generate. Using interactive digital marketing tactics can bring your brand closer to customers, making it more memorable in their eyes. People are looking for engagement through online marketing channels, and your business should offer just that, with:

  • Contests;
  • Polls;
  • Giveaways;
  • Quizzes;
  • Questionnaires;
  • Online estimate calculators;
  • etc.

All these interactive marketing tools lead toward personalization as the key factor to focus on in 2021. Not only does it give your customers a voice, but it also provides your business with relevant data that can help boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

#7: Audience segmentation

Most marketers are familiar with the notion of audience segmentation when creating campaigns. It’s a simple matter of knowing your customers enough to be able to categorize them according to various factors. Demographics, age, gender, hobbies, interests, locations – these are just some typical examples for segmenting audiences. Behavior and shopping habits change from year to year – it’s the rule of supply and demand. Companies that wish to grow need to recognize such shifts and bend to match them. If you don’t, your competitors certainly will – you can be sure of that.

Once a business defines its audiences and segments them, it can create separate personalized campaigns for each group. This approach exemplifies the approach that consumers in 2021 want to see. Segmented email lists, specialized ads on different sites, specific blog categories and tags, as well as targeted social media ads – all these tactics great starting points when it comes to digital marketing trends for 2021.

#8: Local SEO

With the economic crisis brought about by COVID-19, local businesses are struggling to survive more than ever. That being said, the benefits of local SEO are stronger than ever. In fact, 2021 appears to be shifting all the power of broad SEO to local SEO. Local leads tend to have more intent to purchase than regular leads. And with all local businesses struggling to stay afloat, you know that everyone will be looking for the slightest advantage.

A good starting point would be to establish your business on Google. This is where the implementation of Google My Business can help. After that, you will want to create profiles for your business on other local listings. Explore earning links on websites in your area while optimizing your content for local keywords.

#9: Automated bidding on Google Ads

The automation of paid ads bidding that started in 2016 will finally come into play this year. With this change in place, optimizing ads will become much simpler and easier than going at it manually. But will this eliminate the need for hiring expert PPC companies? Not quite, so long as they refocus their efforts on monitoring and maintaining campaigns while researching new ideas and innovations. Additionally, incorporating brand awareness into paid ads is another task that consumers will want to see in the future.

#10: Shoppable posts on social media platforms

  • A 2020 study by SproutSocial revealed that 46% of Instagram users purchased one or more products that were put in front of them in a sponsored IG post.

These are social media posts that directly connect users to product checkout tend to increase conversions by streamlining the payment process. And 2021 will only boost the volume of eCommerce sales via social media platforms. And businesses that make the added effort to invest in integrating their social media accounts with the option of shippable posts will only be able to benefit from it. At some point, this might even become the primary source of sales for certain industries.

There is value in past trends as well

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Don’t be so eager to step into digital marketing trends for 2021 without looking back at past trends first.

While looking toward the future, one should never turn their back on the past completely. Digital marketing trends for 2021 are based on the analysis of trends from past years as well as predictions for the upcoming years. It all comes down to looking at the bigger picture and pointing out specific parts that your business might benefit from.

With Digital Dot by your side, being in sync with current trends is much simpler to achieve. Our team understands ongoing processes and changes in the world of digital marketing. Contact us today and start working on taking your business to the next level in 2021.

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