The ongoing Covid19 and subsequent lockdowns have brought about an unprecedented growth in digital marketing and related internet products. 

No one knew that 2020 would mark the end of many small and large brands as well as catapult us into a digital age where no profit oriented business can survive without competitive digital marketing strategies.

At first, many brands paused their online marketing efforts in hopes of cutting down expenses. Unfortunately for them, that gave more dominance to their competitors who were more daring and digitally prepared to scoop the big gains, while they were left with irreparable losses. 

To help guide and prepare both marketers and entrepreneurs to catch up in their industries and take their businesses to new all time highs, let’s carefully consider part 1 of digital marketing trends for 2021. 

What is digital marketing?

digital marketing trends 2021

Simply put, digital marketing is your traditional marketing done over the internet.  Christopher Lara gave this definition:

“Digital marketing is made up of a lot of moving parts. You can increase visibility and organic traffic through SEO, build a brand with your social media presence, use marketing automation to save your time and provide more personalized engagement and run PPC to “jump the line” on search engine results”. 

This means that digital marketing is not static, on the contrary, it is ever changing as new technologies, techniques, and endless Google algorithm updates keep many of us on our toes. 

Top Digital Marketing Trends Of 2021

Interactive Content

2021 digital marketing trends

Adding creative content that can engage visitors of your website on autopilot is one of 2021 hottest digital marketing trends. The target is to keep visitors on your website for as long as needed with valuable and exciting activities that can turn them into quality leads or customers.

For example, say you have a fitness website, engaging your website visitors with an interactive weightloss quiz could provide them with value, make them identify with your brand more and also give you accurate data on what they might be interested in.

Benefits

This is very powerful in increasing conversion rate and organic search engine optimization as Google takes into due consideration the amount of time visitors spend on your website. 

Personalized Content

digital marketing trends 2021

The importance of personalization in content for today’s market cannot be emphasized enough. Consumers want to be much more than just your next closed sale. 

They’re tired of the generic emails, calls and offers, in fact, they’ve become so familiar with these general marketing tactics that it doesn’t even move a nerve in them anymore. So what is the solution? 

Personalized content is the solution. 

Make your content stand out by first creating a buyer persona of who your target audience is, their geographical location, their language, their age group, their income level, gender and interests. Using tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can even niche down to their occupational hierarchy, company size, years in operation and so much more.

Second, create relevant content that speaks directly to the audience that you’ve identified your brand with. Last, integrate the content with your inbound marketing or CRM system to engage with your leads at every point of the sales funnel and watch your conversion moon.

Benefits

Creating and using buyer personas can help you craft content that directly appeals to your customer segment, increase engagement & loyalty to your brand, and boost conversions on your website.

Content Marketing

2021 digital marketing trends

According to CMI, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 

As a marketer or entrepreneur you may utilize content marketing to strategically create relevant articles, videos or posts based on your target keywords to attract quality leads to your website, engage with them and ultimately drive sales.

For example, the screenshot below shows 5400 people in UAE are searching for the keyword “DIFC Restaurants” and it has a SEO difficulty of 24.

Now, it may be very unprofitable for a restaurant to advertise their menu before such hot leads because they are clearly looking for articles or user generated content around this interest. However, it will be very effective to write a blog post or create a video that gives a comprehensive guide on DIFC Restaurants (which could be based around your menu or brand), then, run low cost Google Ads to this content. 

For instance you can develop content around titles like “Best DIFC Restaurants 2021” or “An Honest Review of Best DIFC Restaurant”.

Benefits

Marketing keyword targeted and informative content cost you less than direct sales ads and you’ll be perceived as an authority in your industry, which will build stronger brand credibility and loyalty.

Also, you’ll be boosting your search engine rankings on other pages of your website in addition to the content you’re marketing. 

Video Is King

digital marketing trends 2021

The massive shift from images and walls of texts to videos is proof that video marketing is perhaps the biggest digital marketing trend in 2021. According to Adobe Digital Insights, in 2021, customers will prefer to buy products or services that have high quality video descriptions than those that are just image or text based

Also, the introduction of live videos on popular platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook have further highlighted the importance of integrating video content into your digital marketing strategy in 2021. It is needful to note that, not all videos are ranked equally. As a matter of fact, informational videos under 1 minute are proven to drive 3 times more performance than longer videos.

Benefits

Videos offers one of the highest conversion rates of all forms of digital content, thus integrating it in your marketing strategy will accelerate word of mouth referrals, give you a better medium to engage your customers and give you a perfect opportunity to showcase the most appealing features or benefits of your product.

Social Media Dominance

digital marketing trends

2021 will witness a continued growth in Social Media Marketing as the pandemic has led many to work and shop from home. Studies have revealed that 24% of US companies total marketing budgets in the second quarter of 2020 were allocated for social media, which is a massive 13% increase compared to the previous year.

This increasing trend in social media has forced many brands to focus more resources on customer retention by consistently publishing content that engage with their audience. 

Further, the introduction of Facebook commerce and Instagram shops has turned social media into a hotspot for instant purchase instead of just discovery. 

Instagram shop - digital marketing

Thus, brands that are looking to dominate their industry with social media marketing needs to adapt to these platforms with new rules and strategies. 

A great way to get good results with social media marketing in 2021 is to reduce the clutter, reduce the number of social media channels or pages you use. You have to realize that not all platforms are rated equally since they deliver different results. 

Knowing whether to start and grow with just Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook and Instagram is something to be determined by your product/service and your target customer segment.

Benefits

Generally, social media is a great way of creating brand credibility and social proof, but more than that, it also creates a free source of website traffic, it’s a strong SEO ranking factor (ie: linking your social media page to your website) and lastly, it’s the best way to ensure customer retention and loyalty in today’s market.

Mobile Optimization

digital marketing trends

HubSpot reports that nearly 25% of businesses invest in mobile optimization. With the consistent decline in the use of desktop and tablets, it has become a necessity for brands/developers to ensure a rich and fully optimized mobile browsing experience for customers.

Optimizing your website for a responsive mobile browsing experience can be achieved by ensuring faster loading time, streamlined web layouts, touch-screen friendly navigation, interactive design (ie: balance between text and images or videos) and clear call-to-actions. 

Besides great user experience, another reason why you may consider to get on this trend, is the positive impact it can have on your search results. This is because Google has moved to mobile-first indexing since 2019 and other search engines seem to favor websites with optimized mobile version more than those that don’t.

Benefits

There are several benefits of having a mobile friendly or optimized website band some of them includes: easier for users to navigate the website, increases your chances of appearing on search results, improves overall user experience and guarantees higher conversions.

Tracking For More

digital marketing trends in 2021

It is said that advertising in 2021 without a tracker is like throwing money out the window with hopes that someone will throw even more money back at you.

As exaggerated as this may seem, it is the current situation in digital marketing. You need to track, analyze, optimize and repeat until you find a matching formula that will produce predictable results again and again for you or your clients.

Some of us have been running paid ads of some sort and we have no tracking installed on our website, we have no idea who our website visitors are, where they come from, their browsing behavior on our website and how much of them we are able to retain or convert. 

Using free tools like Google Analytics or other high rated tracking software can help you solve this problem easily and set your business for consistent results

Benefits

Marketing keyword targeted and informative content cost you less than direct sales ads and you’ll be perceived as an authority in your industry, which will build stronger brand credibility and loyalty.

Having an accurate and easy to analyze tracking system in place can help you identify areas for improvement in your sales funnel, help you to reduce long term cost, help you focus primarily on what works and help you scale faster by maximizing results.

Final Comments

If you want your brand to stay relevant in today’s market, you need to invest in digital marketing solutions that fits your goals and you need to do it quick.

Join me next week as we take a look at other trends like AR, VR, Google Automated Ads, Local SEO and other powerful internet technologies that are shaping the way we market online in 2021 and beyond.

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