The rapid spread of technology accelerated by the pandemic has led to a pressing need of small business owners. To face these challenges of COVID-19, many have adapted to using digital platforms.
Over the years, digital platforms have had a massive increase as people tend to buy online and also use other services which can be subscription-based or free of cost on various online channels. With more and more people working from home, spending more time online, on social media, etc., there is no better time than now for small business owners to refine their online marketing strategy!
As we enter this new year, it’s time to look ahead to what we can expect for the next 12 months!
These are the top 5 digital marketing trends for 2021:
- The Clubhouse App
- Google Search Algorithm Update in May 2021
- Short Form Content
The Clubhouse App
Clubhouse is a drop in audio voice chatting social media platform that was released last year. It was developed by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Paul Davison and ex-Google employee Rohan Seth. Currently, the app is still in beta test mode and users can only get on the app via invitation.
Unlike the more popular platforms, this app isn’t about getting traction to a huge amount of followers nor having a perfect curated profile. This app is all about chatting in real time, making genuine connections, and having authentic conversations. Clubhouse is an alternative app to meet new people especially in a time of pandemic. The users of the app would recommend it since it gives out a freedom and unique way for the online world to communicate in an unfiltered way.
Clubhouse allows you to find and follow people with similar interests. Users can pop into a live chat room at any time, join a live chat room, wherein you are placed as an audience and you can raise your hands if you have questions or concerns. When you are hosting the live chat, if someone is being disrespectful or any disturbing the chat you can mute them. As an audience member you can leave the conversation without disturbing other people. An exciting feature for this app is that it lets you create your own “clubs” and host your own members.
Ideally, this is a great platform for business owners and entrepreneurs to build real relationships and acquire business. It lets users connect with other people in the industry that you are interested in and gain potential clients. Soon when the app has fully launched, it is one of the apps to look out for in the future because of its features that allow people to connect in a unique way.
Google Search Algorithm Update in May 2021
Although the search engine algorithms are always changing, this is one upcoming algorithm update you’ll want to prepare for. Here are seven elements your website must have by May 2021:
- Your web pages should load in less than 3 seconds.
- The links, buttons, and other clickable elements should be interactive because broken links can get your website on Google’s bad side.
- The links, buttons, and other clickable elements should be in a right position so people can see it easily.
- Your website should be mobile friendly. Double check your website on desktop, mobile phones and tablets. Make sure the links, buttons, and other clickable elements are not close to each other.
- The website has not been hacked or infected with malware and/or blacklisted.
- The website has an encrypted connection displaying the HTTPS in the address bar (most hosting providers make it easy to install the free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt)
- Don’t use pop ups or other annoying elements that will suddenly appear and get in the way of someone checking out your website.
Keep simple and easy to navigate to those who will visit your website. Remember these seven items to remain on Google’s good side. Bottom line: your website should be designed for both human eyes and search engine eyes.
Short Form Content
In the time of COVID-19, the platform Tiktok became one of the popular platforms because of the short-form videos. It is the preferred platform for Gen Z because on the average they have an 8-second attention span, according to Thomas J Law’s article on 10 Vital Strategies To Use When Marketing To Generation Z. Tiktok also launched Tiktok for Business and set for expansion on paid promotion and advertising options this year. Catchy, quick to view, short form videos is the strategy and execution of marketers’ target for younger customers. The three to five second ads either a video or an image. In-Feed Videos can be up to 60 seconds in length and run with the sound on. One of its features is “Branded Effects”, it allows brands to insert themselves more directly into the content creation experience. They can add a 2D, 3D or now AR format in either the foreground or background of the video. With the “Hashtag Challenge” combined it can boost engagement with the brand.
Facebook launched Instagram Reels to get in on the action. Record and edit 15-seconds multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools. You can share your reels as a story , share with close friends, in direct messages or in your feed with your followers and if your account is in public, it can be discovered by the huge audience and Instagram community on the Explore section.
Both these platforms can help you communicate your brand purpose, product values, and call to action in a short and snappy way.
Video marketing is one of the most important marketing phenomena of digital marketing. According to Audrey Anderson, a Creative Professional,
- 70% of customers would say they shared a video of a brand
- 72% of organizations say that the conversion rate of the video has increased
- 52% of customers are more confident in online purchasing decisions when they watch product videos
- 65% of management visits the site of the marketer
- 39% calls a seller after watching a video
Creating a video can be the biggest opportunity in 2021. Video content captures attention in an effective way to get attention online. Viewers can retain almost 95% of the message from the video. It is most effective for those viewers who are new customers. By just combining visual imagery, sound, and extras like effects or text, it gains traction than a simple text or image post with a caption.
For more info on why you need to include video in your 2021 digital marketing strategy, check out this helpful article about 67 Video Marketing Stats You Need to Know for 2021.
Personalized Marketing is also one of the digital marketing trends to watch out this year. Salesforces defined personalization as an act of tailoring an experience or communication based on information a company has learned about an individual. One of the possible channels for personalized is email. This can be an impact or challenging to scale depending on how the technology is used. However, even without advanced capabilities, curating relevant experiences should be a part of every marketer’s strategy. This method about context and anticipating the needs and delivering the value of how trust is built.
In addition to email, chatbots and retargeting can also help create personalized experiences for your current and prospective customers. When a visitor interacts with your online chatbot, it can respond and offer options based on certain keywords the visitor types. In most cases, chatbots can answer visitors’ questions and also help convert visitors into leads and/or customers.
Retargeting is part of a paid traffic strategy. Facebook and Google both offer the ability to do retargeting campaigns. Let’s suppose you’re running Facebook ads for an upcoming webinar. If someone views the Facebook ad but does not click for more info, then they might be shown variations of that same ad to pique interest. Now if they view the ad and click over (landing on a webinar registration page) but don’t register for the webinar, then they might be shown another set of ads to encourage them to go register.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has upended how businesses operate. However, as more people are working from home and spending time online, this presents an opportunity for small business owners to pivot. Although there are so many different aspects of digital marketing, you should start with one aspect (such as video) and get really good at that.
Would you like more (budget friendly) tips on marketing your business? Then you’ll want to check out this article from John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility: 11 Innovative Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses.
As you refine your digital marketing strategy and get more people visiting your website, remember that email marketing will always be effective in converting visitors into leads and prospective customers. If you have no idea how to get started with email marketing, take advantage of my email marketing quick start guide below!