Online Innovation December 28th, 2020
As 2020 comes to a close, it’s time to consider the upcoming year: how we can improve our digital marketing efforts and how we can stay on top of this ever-changing landscape.
Looking back on 2020, I think we can all agree that the year did not unfold as predicted.
Businesses were affected — both negatively and positively — in 2020 because of the global pandemic.
How will this affect marketing in 2021?
For many businesses, 2021 business goals will be geared towards making up for lost time and continuing to innovate online. With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout still in its early stages, it’ll be a long time until the global economy is back to normal.
With this in mind, we’re going to look at seven emerging and growing trends for 2021; what they are and how your business can jump on board.
The coronavirus pandemic forced companies to innovate and pivot online in order to continue meeting consumer demand. Businesses who only recently made the move to digital will need to focus on refining and improving their online processes.
If this sounds like your business, consider the following:
For your business to be successful online during this unprecedented time, you need a user-friendly, optimized website. Don’t let a poor website hold you back.
A lot of marketers and SEO professionals already know that it’s getting tougher to rank organically on Google. Thanks to an increase in paid search and SERP (Search Engine Results Page) features, the real estate on page one of Google is diminishing. This is having a knock-on effect for websites, as we see a decrease in organic clicks while paid clicks are slowly increasing.
Furthermore, zero-click searches on Google are going up. A recent study by Rand Fishkin found that more than 50% of Google searches end without a click on other content. What is a zero-click search? This is when you land on a search results page after you input your query and Google gives you the answer to your question, meaning that you probably do not need to click-through.
As many businesses remain closed due to lockdowns, optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) for local search is now critical to ensure you are found online by your local community.
Google My Business allows you to manage your online presence and post updates — as you would on social media — that searchers can check out. Keeping your GMB up-to-date is not only good for informing visitors about your latest news — like whether your opening hours have changed if you’re running a promotion, and so on — but it’s also great for SEO.
An updated and optimized GMB can help you appear higher across Google, on both Search and on Maps.
What our SEO experts recommend:
Marketing automation is the process of using software to automate your marketing activities during different parts of the marketing funnel. It’s about optimizing your time and discovering which customers your sales team can focus their efforts on.
It allows you to automate manual, repetitive tasks: sending emails, follow-ups, reminders, and reports. This consequently makes the entire process faster, more manageable and more personalized.
There are many benefits to marketing automation, and it’s something your business should make a priority in 2021.
We briefly touched upon personalized messaging in the last point, now let’s dig deeper.
Generic ads are a thing of the past —- personalization will be crucial in order to meet customer demand in 2021. In recent years, big brands like Amazon and Netflix have paved the way for personalization and targeting, and now consumers expect the same level from other B2C brands. It’s become crucial to get the right message, to the right person, on the right channel, at the right time.
A study by Infosys revealed that 86% of customers said that personalization has some impact on what they buy. What can your business do to make an impact on your customers?
Online reviews continue to be vital for all businesses, not just B2C. Many potential customers turn to websites such as Google, Glassdoor, Yelp and other industry-specific sites to read company reviews. If you’re not managing your business’s online reputation, you could be losing out on potential leads and sales due to negative reviews.
In 2021, you should prioritize online reputation management, which can include monitoring reviews and ratings, and social listening.
With the exponential growth of voice products in 2019 —- like Amazon Alexa and Google Home —- and the increase in usage of voice search apps, like Siri, we can no longer ignore the need for voice optimization.
In addition, research shows that older generations are more likely to use voice search, as 64% of those aged 55 and over say that they prefer to use voice search to look for information compared to 47% of users aged between 18 and 34. This research suggests that using voice can make technology more accessible.
Here’s what our SEO experts suggest:
In 2021 marketers and businesses need to continue creating content to increase brand awareness, improve SEO, build credibility and convert leads into customers.
A recent study conducted by Cisco predicts that video will account for 82% of overall internet traffic by 2022. Furthermore, 91% of B2B buyers say they prefer interactive and visual content to static content.
Businesses are expected to double-down on video content in 2021, and with the growth of AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality), along with TikTok and Instagram Reels, means that marketers and businesses alike need to get creative to keep consumers’ attention.
Don’t get left behind; start thinking about how your business can utilize visual content and stay ahead of your competitors.
2021 is the year for ramping up your digital marketing strategy.
With the unpredictable year we had in 2020, businesses can’t afford to sit back while their competitors dominate online.
Will you be incorporating any of these marketing trends into your 2021 strategy?