As the world moves into another year facing COVID-19, digital engagement is becoming one of the most prevalent forms of communication. Smart business people understand that marketing builds relationships and digital marketing is about creating new audiences and engaging with your current customers. Following the trends is an important part of staying relevant. What does digital marketing 2021 look like?
Social Media Reigns Supreme
Some things just don’t change, and social media has been at the top of digital marketing trends for many years. However, there is a different social media landscape in 2021.
This year saw dynamic shifts in social media usage, in part, because of the global pandemic. A recent Harris Poll found that 46 to 51 percent of adults use social media more due to the virus outbreak.
Of the participants who did say they were engaging more on social media, 60 percent were between the ages of 18 to 34, and 34 percent were over 65. So, no matter what your target audience is, chances are they are on at least one social media platform and, most likely, more than one.
What does this mean for businesses creating their digital marketing strategy for 2021? Plan to dedicate more resources to social media marketing. In 2021, customer retention is going to be a priority. Since consumers are spending more time on social media, it becomes one of the critical touch points.
Social is also a low-cost marketing tool. Although you’ll want to invest some in digital ads, what brands need to do is post, and post often. Companies should create a plan to post to social media platforms regularly, at least once a day, and monitor the responses. Encourage your customers to share your posts and build on the power of word of mouth advertising.
Go for Google
If you never considered the importance of search engine optimization (SEO), now is the time. In a way, 2021 is bringing back the basics. SEO has always been a fluid concept because algorithms change, making it hard to keep up with the flux, and many companies stopped trying.
That is not going to change in 2021, but the way businesses approach SEO needs to evolve.
Focusing on Core Web Values
So, what goes into SEO for 2021? According to a May 2020 Google Search Central blog, one answer is user experience. Things they look for include how fast pages load and mobile-friendliness. Google calls these Core Web Values, defined as:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures loading performance, which should be within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts to load
- First input delay (FID), which measures interactivity, should be less than 100 milliseconds
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is the measure of visual stability. The CLS needs to be less than .1
The Importance of the Semantic Search
Another important aspect of SEO is the semantic search, which means the search engines’ ability to determine a search phrase’s intent. Optimizing for semantic search means considering conversational search phrases when creating content, like:
- Can I
- Do I need
- Should I
These are ways many people start their searches. Can I lose 10 pounds fast? Do I need to winterize my home? Should I consider buying a new car?
The Power of Voice Assistants
Semantic search optimization also covers the growing use of voice assistants. Users don’t form voice searches the same way they might typing in a phrase on a computer. Their language will be naturally more conversational. “Siri, how do I cook a roast?” Companies hoping to boost traffic to their websites need to optimize for these conversational queries.
One way to optimize for semantic searches is to create content that answers questions, especially in blogs. So, for 2021, blog posts and webpages should focus on the questions your target audience might ask.
Automating Bidding in Google Ads
While not a new concept, but rather one improved upon for 2021, automated bidding tactics for Google ads means businesses can focus on other aspects of digital marketing like social media. Through automated bidding, you can set bids based on the likelihood that an ad will result in a click conversion.
By switching to automated bidding, you take advantage of advanced machine learning algorithms to make accurate projections regarding ad campaigns. It also provides valuable information, such as:
- User behaviors - time of day, key interests, cross-device usage
- Demographics - age, gender, location
- Behavior - pages viewed, time on site
- Performance characteristics - ad format vs. ad performance
A change to automated bidding can mean better outcomes for less money.
Make It Interactive
Interactive content has made the top of the list for several years now, too, but might become even more critical in 2021. People are home, and they are board, so the companies that grab their attention with interactive content may see growth in brand recognition. Some examples of interactive content include:
- Online tools
- Interactive videos
Engagement is the key to starting a buzz about your company, brand, or product. Making content interactive is the ultimate form of engagement.
Are you looking to build an effective digital marketing plan for 2021? Manobyte can help. We provide solutions for digital marketing that drives better outcomes. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.