Top 7 Digital Marketing Trends For 2021 – Expert Tips
In 2020, society and its needs have changed a lot due to the pandemic, restrictions and crisis. Marketers also have to adjust to this. Vishal tells what will happen with SEO optimization, PPC advertising, and will list the main CRO trends in 2021.
In 2020, marketers had to work hard to keep track of all events and respond quickly to them. You are probably familiar with this disastrous list: a socio-political crisis, environmental disasters and, of course, the main enemy of this year – COVID-19.
All these events created an atmosphere of uncertainty and, therefore, could not but influence marketing. After all, who knows how much advertising on social networks will cost in a year?
Who knows what will happen in a year? In order to not only survive any upcoming events, but to continue to achieve success, marketers will have to quickly adapt to new strategies.
1. SEO optimization
Keeping up with SEO trends is not easy because the field is constantly evolving. And in 2021 the situation will not change. But here are a few trends that we are likely to see.
Customer Experience, or Customer (or, in this case, User) Experience (CX or UX), is not just a buzzword. It is a force to be reckoned with. And it’s not just about making consumers happy – customer experience is now becoming a major factor in Google search rankings.
The logic behind this change is simple but fairly obvious: if users don’t have a positive experience, they don’t get what they want and leave.
Statistics also help to make sure that customer experience is important. More than 33% of smartphone users immediately go to another company’s website if they cannot find what they are looking for. At the same time, according to Forrester, every dollar invested in UX is returned in one hundred dollars in revenue.
Therefore, in order for your content to rank high on the search page, it is important to pay attention to some things:
- Make sure your site or app loads quickly.
- Provide easy access and search (note structure, navigation, etc.).
- Be available on all devices and platforms.
Starting in 2021, it will be semantic search that will be the key tool that search engines use to extract the context, intent and meaning from the myriad of available data that are necessary to find the most relevant content.
In fact, semantic search is also very much about customer experience. Instead of requiring users to use the perfect sequence of words to get the correct results, search engines sort out the scattered sentences and vague questions they enter into the search bar on their own.
People use ordinary language, not a bunch of keywords. According to Google, in the English-speaking segment, the number of requests from a mobile phone starting with “can I” (“can I”) increased by 85%. For the phrases “do I need” (“do I need”) and “should I” (“should I”), the same indicators were 65% each.
All this is spoken language. So we cannot fail to mention voice assistants. At their core, they are designed to decipher and respond to queries formulated in natural language. And in this they are helped by semantic search.
In order to keep up with the “semantic” trend, we advise you to pay attention to the following solutions:
- Create content that answers questions . This can be a FAQ section or even entire pages of the site dedicated to individual questions that your customers often have.
- “Humanize” content. Don’t overwhelm the text with keywords, while sacrificing the structure and logic of the story. Try to use simple sentences and bullet lists.
- Use internal links. If you include cross-referencing to other content in your content, you will not only help the user navigate the site, but also create a content map around a specific topic, which means “linking” more words and sentences to it.
- Optimize your content by topic. Create clusters of valuable content around a popular topic – also known as the “skyscraper method”.
It’s safe to assume that in 2021, marketers with a better understanding of their audience goals will rank higher in organic search results.
In 2019, Google already thought about the importance of such changes, and now the search engine algorithm is able to recognize the user’s intent from any query made using natural language. And brands, according to Ahrefs, managed to achieve 677% growth in organic traffic after optimizing content for a search goal.
In this regard, several recommendations can be made:
- Create content with your target consumers in mind. And write the way people talk.
- In the FAQ section, answer natural questions your audience might have.
- Research content requirements based on consumer intent. For example, people who want to purchase products and those who need advice on the perfect purchase will be interested in different content.
2. PPC (Pay per Click) advertising
Opinions vary about PPC advertising, but few question its effectiveness. Therefore, in the new year it is worth following the trends in this direction.
PPC Automation and AI
In general, when working with PPC advertising, it all comes down to maximizing conversion while minimizing investment. Recently, automation based on artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies has helped achieve these goals.
For example, 84% of marketers who took part in the Acquisio survey said that, in their opinion, machine learning technologies increase the effectiveness of PPC ads.
The effectiveness of PPC automation is mainly responsible for the ability of the solution to accurately determine when the user is most ready to purchase, and at that moment show him the brand proposal.
New technologies can predict click-through rates and post conversions, for example, eliminating the need for marketers to do these calculations.
There are several areas of PPC work that you can automate:
- fast generated ad copy based on content from your site or user data;
- PPS-report with the most important data for the team about the success of the campaign;
- identifying and dealing with mistakes that can negatively affect the success of the campaign.
Responsive search ads
This relatively new Google Ads feature (introduced in 2019) automatically optimizes headlines, ad copy, and call-to-action for audience and search terms. Your job is to provide the platform with content on which to optimize.
Let’s say you provided 15 titles and 4 product descriptions. The system itself will group them in an optimal way for each potential buyer. During beta testing of the feature, there was a 53.1% increase in conversion rates.
To work with responsive search ads, you need:
- 8-10 long and short titles;
- 2-3 texts associated with keywords, also varying in length;
- 1 dynamic keyword insertion.
3. Optimization of advertising performance (CRO)
“Conversion” can look different. This could be filling out a form to download an e-book, buying from an online store, or signing up for a trial period of your product. And the performance metric is the percentage of people who completed a conversion action. Therefore, CRO should be viewed from two points of view:
- how people get to your platform;
- and what they do when they are on it.
This approach allows you to see more points of consumer contact with the brand, each of which can be optimized to increase the number of users who make it to the finish line. These include:
- screen and PPC ads;
- landing page;
- information posts;
- text on the site;
- structure, navigation, page loading speed;
- email and SMS campaigns;
- call to action buttons;
- forms for filling.
What will be the main CRO trends that you should pay attention to in 2021?
According to emarketer.com, in 2020 people started spending 23 more minutes a day on smartphones. And Statista estimates the number of smartphone users worldwide at more than 3 billion.
Unsurprisingly, the emphasis today is on increasing new mobile options such as the development of voice assistants, augmented reality and mobile search.
CROs are particularly concerned about smartphone checkout metrics, with an average of 120 clicks and 27% of potential buyers not completing the checkout process.
Therefore, we advise you to evaluate the mobile checkout process. Are there any difficulties and inconveniences? How easy is it, for example, to enter card details and authenticate? All of this matters.
Epsilon research found that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that personalizes their experience. Also, according to Saleforce, 84% of consumers consider “treating them like people” important to gaining their loyalty.
And this is quite logical. For example, if a user lives in the south and enjoys tennis, there is no point in recommending thermal underwear for sports. Such an offer will not interest the person, and he will most likely leave the site.
The importance of identification and access control systems will also grow in 2021. No matter how smooth the customer journey to the purchase goes, if there are major problems with registration and login, all your previous efforts will become irrelevant.
4. Social media marketing (SMM)
In light of the events of 2020, the need to adapt quickly and accurately has reached unprecedented heights. Especially considering the emergence of new channels that cannot be ignored. And well-known platforms began to look a little different.
Thus, Facebook’s daily traffic grew by 27%, and Instagram – by 40%. Moreover, according to some analysts, the number of likes under sponsored posts on Instagram has increased by 76% during the pandemic.
Unless you’re planning on ditching your social media promotions next year, you can’t ignore the evolving phenomenon of a cancellation culture. The consequences of popular anger can be very serious.
Moreover, even the platforms themselves are not protected. For example, after the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) expressed doubts that Facebook was making enough efforts to stop the spread of hate on the platform, dozens of advertisers, including Coca Cola and Unilever, refused to cooperate.
The following are a few tactics to help maintain your brand’s reputation on social media:
- Check your automated ads regularly. This will help you avoid accidentally posting questionable content or advertising at the wrong time (for example, after a national tragedy).
- Always check social media posts and ad copy before posting. Especially watch out for text, idea and brand reflection. The more people view your post, the less likely you are to make a mistake.
- Allocate internal resources for listening. What current events, trends and competitors’ actions might have something to do with your social media activities? AI-powered solutions are now available to marketers to do the job for you.
5. Video marketing
To say that we live in the golden age of video is to say nothing. A recent study by GlobalWebIndex found that 56% of internet users watch videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat every month. And then there is the second largest search engine in the world – YouTube. Video marketing can be easy with applications of computers.
This year, the number of views has grown by 20-30% and reached the maximum values in the entire history of hosting.
In short, we cannot fail to mention the video marketing trends.
More videos on the search results page
If you google “new movie trailers,” popular videos on YouTube are among the first results. Yes, and Yandex primarily offers a carousel with a selection of videos. This is because the search engines assume that you want to watch the latest trailers and immediately offer them to you. This is why more and more videos appear on the results page.
For marketers, this is another opportunity to engage users, increase brand awareness, and improve content ranking in search. What is needed for this? Create more video content! A simple solution is to transform written content such as interviews and webinars into small videos.
The rise in importance of webinars and the transition to virtual events
87% of experts working in the event industry were forced to cancel events due to the pandemic and 70% moved face-to-face meetings to virtual platforms. Moreover, many of them believe that this is not a temporary change.
Therefore, now one of the main tasks is to develop virtual events. Moreover, in 2021, restrictions on personal meetings may remain.
The metric for webinars has not changed much, but marketers are now investing much more in them, because offline events are not widely available.
Next year, it will be important to find new ways to increase audience engagement in webinars, make them more interactive, and increase efficiency through email marketing.
Zoom dominant positions
Unfortunately for Skype, due to the pandemic, Zoom suddenly rushed in its place. This was a matter of sheer necessity as almost everyone had to move to work from home and rely on platforms for virtual meetings.
And the word “sudden” really perfectly describes the rise in popularity of Zoom. In April 2020, the platform was used 30 times more often. On its busiest days, over 300 million users connected to Zoom.
There is no clear consensus on how marketers can use Zoom. But it’s important to remember that, in fact, this is still a video platform, which means that users have the ability to record meetings and use these videos in other marketing channels. So Zoom webinars have new uses.
6. Content marketing
Content marketing is part of a company’s overall marketing strategy. In 2021, there is no place for non-unique content that doesn’t sell. Search robots are constantly improving, increasing their requirements for content on sites. The information you share with customers should:
- Answer their questions, offer a solution to the problem
- Be unique, structured and understandable
- Constantly updated to keep up to date
If you want the site to be useful to the user, then you will have to write and update information constantly. It will take a long time, but it is guaranteed to work.
The user sees a thousand advertising offers a day, and “good” and informative content will make a person read, choose and buy. The most successful examples of working with content:
- Creating original email newsletters
- Preparing interactive content
- Connect with experts in your field
7. Big data and analytics
Any business will be more effective if you pay enough attention to collecting information, analytics, visualizing business data and investing in forecasting.
Using big data in internet marketing can accomplish three important goals:
- Storage and management of information, the volumes of which cannot be handled by conventional databases
- Organization of unstructured information from multimedia (texts, images, videos and other types of data)
- Analytical reporting and forecasting
A big change is possible in internet marketing in 2021. The main problem of using big data for business is being solved – the lack of competent marketers and analysts.
When this issue is closed, and there are more specialists in the Internet marketing market, the value of data collection and the feasibility of creating reports for solving specific business problems will increase.
This point refers to several factors at once:
- Client – create a detailed portrait of your target audience, analyze its interests, algorithms of behavior in search engines, social networks, expectations and needs. Explore your clients’ personal social media profiles. What are they sharing? What do they like? Can you give it to them?
- Content – it’s time for highly specialized niches and topics, choose a problem and give options for solving it, involve experts who will increase the usefulness of the content
- Use advanced targeting settings to make relevant offers
- Employees – make your team experts, use their potential, create blogs, form activity and motivation for continuous development
We reviewed global marketing trends, shared useful tips for running a business and managing advertising.
We hope that after reading the article, you will review your current promotion strategy and replace outdated marketing trends with modern approaches.
If you still have questions or have a desire to order the development of the site, then feel free to contact us.