Is your digital marketing plan ready for the year ahead? There are quite a few trends to note right now, especially as we head into the final weeks of 2020.
To ensure your strategy is ready for 2021 and you’re making the most of the newest marketing tools and tactics, make sure to remember these seven trends.
Your content and copy should (hopefully) already be optimized for SEO. You know your keywords and how your audience finds you.
But did you know it’s constantly changing and evolving? Your keywords and strategy have to keep up. In recent months, there’s been another type of search that has been ramping up: voice search.
And now is the perfect time to start getting your content ready for voice search. In fact, you can’t wait – it’s actually expected that, by 2021, 70% of searches will be done by voice search.
This is due to easy-to-use and more popular voice-enabled devices including smartphones, tablets, and voice assistants like Alexa.
It’s much simpler for your clients to search using their voice than typing something in.
However, how you prepare for voice search is a little different than text-based search. For example, many of your customers will be asking their device a question.
Therefore, you need to adopt some strategies that account for these types of queries. You can achieve this by writing more conversational content, adding voice search snippets to blog posts, and providing FAQ pages on your website.
When you think of “content,” you most likely think about the blog. But, in reality, content is so much more than that. From videos to podcasts, you have quite a few options.
Many of these strategies though are known as “passive content.” It doesn’t really give your audience much chance to engage with your brand.
Instead, one area you’ll want to focus your digital marketing efforts in 2021 is interactive content.
Examples of these types of content include VR or AR, graphics, charts, quizzes, infographics, calculators, webinars, maps, interactive data, and assessments.
All of these give your potential customers chances to truly interact and engage with your company, leading to increased conversion rates. It has actually been found that interactive content can help you achieve 2x more conversions when compared to passive content.
They also present amazing opportunities to reach out to your audience throughout any part of the sales funnel.
Google Snippet Optimization
You may have not heard of “Google Snippet Optimization,” or Featured Snippet Optimization, but you’ve definitely seen it if you regularly use Google for your searches.
It was released in 2014, but many businesses are only just now starting to make the most of it as recent algorithm changes made it more reliable.
Have you ever Googled a question and found the answer in a little box in the top of the search results? That’s a featured snippet!
In order to get your own brand’s content on there though, you need to optimize for it. There’s a lot of competition, but if you manage to have a solid SEO strategy that results in a snippet, you can get quite a bit of organic traffic to your website.
To improve your efforts, you should work on optimizing your blog posts and website copy. You may have to change around titles or small bits of copy in order to fit the questions being asked, but it will be worth the effort.
If you haven’t been paying attention to video marketing before this, you’re behind – it’s time to catch up. It’s constantly evolving and your business can truly benefit from these tactics.
60% of your customers believe that watching product videos before they buy help them to better understand the product.
And just having videos on your landing pages can help to increase conversions by a whopping 80%. Skipping this step could be severely hurting your sales and bottom line.
Publishing your videos on YouTube or your website is definitely a good idea. But you can also take this trend a bit further. We mentioned webinars as an excellent option for interactive content – they also have a role to play here.
Zoom and similar applications make it easier than ever to engage with your peers as well as your audience. You can host a webinar, meeting, or conference, record it, and then post it on YouTube, your website, and other platforms so even those who couldn’t attend can watch.
Another option when it comes to video marketing is social media. Livestream options are constantly changing, and you can take advantage of them.
Facebook and Instagram are two must-haves when it comes to this tactic. You can use these livestreams to show off products, give behind the scenes tours, or perform live Q&A’s.
As with your webinars, you can then upload your streams for those who missed it live.
From retail to manufacturing, many businesses are working to take full advantage of AI when it comes to their marketing strategies (and overall business operations).
This is a trend that has been ramping up in recent years that you need to take notice of, if you haven’t already.
When it comes to marketing, your audience is looking for a personalized experience – they’re tired of the endless noise that comes along with ads that have nothing to do with them.
AI helps deliver a customized approach by analyzing data from your audience, leads, and customers.
The use of AI and this data means that you can have optimized and personalized content that is geared to exactly where a consumer is in the buyer’s journey. It delivers content, such as blogs, emails, videos, and others, at just the right moment to optimize engagement and traffic.
Not only will this tech improve the entire customer experience (CX), it will work to improve your conversion rates and automate much of your marketing process, saving you time and effort.
One thing to note though is: AI needs to be set up correctly to work. If you’re pulling from the incorrect data sets, you could be hurting your overall efforts.
You need to ensure your AI tools are looking at the right numbers in order for you to see positive results.
Chatbots have been around for quite some time, but they’ve only recently become good enough to become a real tool for brands.
Your customers have questions about your products or services, and, most times, they want instant assistance (83%, in fact). If they don’t get that, they’ll quickly head to your competitors.
However, it can be difficult to have someone on standby for customer service 24/7, or have enough people to handle all the questions that come through during busy hours.
If you’re part of a smaller company, you may also not have any one person dedicated to answering these queries. This is where the chatbot comes in.
The most obvious use for this tech is to use them to answer questions your business gets asked a lot, whether it’s about hours, a product’s dimensions, or your location.
But you can program them to do so much more than that. They can actually be set to hold live conversations, ask questions, provide quick and detailed answers to more complicated issues, and route to a live agent if necessary.
The data collected from these conversations can also be used to improve your copy, content, communication, and overall marketing efforts.
Though chatbots are really just getting off the ground, they’re absolutely one trend you need to be using as we head into the new year. They’re constantly improving, but you can start taking advantage of the tech now.
When people think of influencers, they most often think of major Instagram influencers. Although it’s still a solid marketing strategy for many, it doesn’t work for every business, especially smaller ones, and it can be very expensive to work with mega-influencers.
This has led to many brands exploring the benefits of working with micro-influencers. Not only is it less expensive, it can provide a more personalized and personal approach than a mega-influencer would have.
Micro-influencers tend to have around 1,000 to 100,000 followers. When selecting one (or a few) to work with, they should be in your niche. If you work in the video game industry, they should have a passion for video games.
You want someone who will have real passion for your product, someone you can develop a relationship with, and someone who has a relationship with their followers.
This route has worked out for many businesses, including big brands like Coca-Cola who worked with food influencer Miette Dierckx and many other micro-influencers in Belgium to engage their audience.
This trend can lead your business to improved brand awareness, better customer experiences, higher ROI, and authenticity.
Marketing is ever changing, and to keep your business moving forward, it’s essential to keep on top of the latest trends. As you craft your digital marketing strategy for 2021, these trends should absolutely have a spot.
The different types of content and tools listed above are no doubt effective and they can elevate your SEO, traffic, leads, sales, and overall marketing strategy.