March 15, 2021

10 Digital Marketing Trends to Look for in 2021

It’s no secret that 2020 was anything but normal, and 2021 isn’t expected to be too far off.

The way of the world completely changed this past year, and with that came a change in the way we do business. Customer patterns changed, employee situations were dramatically altered, and nearly every aspect of business was forced to make extreme adjustments.

In changing times like this, businesses can choose to adjust and pivot in order to stay one step ahead of the ever-changing landscape. One essential way to stay relevant and engaged within any industry is to stay up-to-date on all of the latest digital marketing trends. That is why e9digital has taken a deep-dive into the digital landscape in order to provide you with the top 10 digital marketing trends to look for in 2021.

10 Essential Digital Marketing Trends To Help Your Business Thrive in 2021

1

Increase in Social Media Marketing

For the past decade, businesses far and wide have experienced the rise of social media. Social media has quickly become one of, if not the most important, ways to reach customers and engage in continual interaction. Social media has been on a steep rise for years now, and the recent pandemic only furthered this spike. As a result of the pandemic, customer habits shifted largely online, and with that, all online channels became increasingly important. Social media is a key way to reach customers, and now they are online and more reachable than ever.

Recommendation: The rise in potential for social media marketing only presents opportunities for any and all businesses. Take advantage of these opportunities and really invest in your business’s social media presence. It’s not enough to just be present, however. Customers want engaging, interesting content and interactions with business profiles. For that reason, explore which social avenues are most promising for your business and create strong profiles that will keep your target audiences engaged and interested. And don’t forget to explore all of the hottest social media avenues like Tik Tok, while still sticking to reliable classics like Instagram and Facebook. Social media is a key digital marketing trend- so it’s time for your business to take full advantage of this opportunity to thrive!

2

Shoppable Social Opportunities

In conjunction with the rise of social media is the new-found presence of shoppable social opportunities. Now, customers can shop products and services directly from social channels, combining e-commerce and social engagement like never before. Instagram, for example, recently released shoppable posts that allow customers to shop directly from a company’s feed. With this movement, it is easier than ever to turn followers into customers with just a few clicks.

Recommendation: Are shoppable feed capabilities applicable to your business and its offerings? If so, take advantage of this opportunity of an entirely new selling channel. Not to mention, Instagram recently did a full update of their shoppable social program and its position within Instagram, so if your business can jump on this quickly, you can establish yourself as a dominant player in this new incredible realm of marketing and selling.

3

Increased Communication with Customers

There is no question that now more than ever it is vital to communicate with your customers like never before. So much has changed as a result of the pandemic, and with that has come changes in the ways we all do business. These changes should be communicated to your customers on a consistent and transparent basis.

Recommendation: This year, stepping up your business’s communication channels will prove to be more important than ever. There are a number of different important messages that should likely be addressed. Product availability, updates to store hours or operation policies, shipping changes, and more are all factors that have likely been affected as a result of the pandemic- and are all points to consider communicating to your customer base. Keeping the lines of communication open and consistent with your customers is essential in overcoming any difficulties or changes that your business may face.

4

Image Search

Another great online marketing trend to take note of this year is in the realm of image search. Image search is an underutilized way to drive traffic to a site for a majority of businesses. It may not be the fanciest digital marketing trend, but it is a foundational step towards further optimizing your business’s site and driving traffic that you may not have otherwise acquired.

Recommendation: Adding and optimizing alt text to the images across your site is a lesser-known ranking factor that can drive real results. As you may already know, alt text is a tenet of web accessibility and a means for Google to crawl and read images, but now it is more of a marketing tool than ever before. Creating strong, optimized image alt text that utilizes keywords and follows best practices opens up an entirely new avenue for image search result rankings and corresponding newfound traffic opportunities. So this year, take advantage of the content optimization opportunities on your site- including the images found sitewide!

5

Rise of Purpose-Driven Brands

Purpose-driven brands have always been a part of the business realm, but more recently they have emerged from the background and have become key players in nearly all industries. More than ever before, customers crave conversation and connection with the businesses that they chose to engage with- and having a strong company purpose is foundational to this idea.

Recommendation: 2020 was the year of change in many ways, and it is no longer an option for businesses to hide in the background while these changes occur. Customers demand purpose and connection from businesses, and it is as much of an opportunity as it is a necessity for businesses to provide this. This year, take a look at your business, its employees, and its purpose, and make sure that you are portraying the message that you want to give to customers. With the rise of social, as discussed above, it is more important than ever to be connected and engaged with our customers, our community, and the world in which we live.

6

Personalization

Did you know that 90% of consumers say that personalization is extremely appealing to them? Gone are the days of email and marketing blasts, and in are the days of personalization and targeting! Your customers don’t want to feel like just a number, and your business can highly benefit from getting the right messages in front of the right audiences- which is why personalization is a key online marketing trend for 2021!

Recommendation: Use consumer behavior and customer metrics to personalize the messages that you present to your customers from now on. Stop sending generic email blasts that will likely go unread, and start creating customized messages that target groups of people will want to see. Now, more than ever, we have incredible technologies and methodologies for segmenting and identifying customer segments and behaviors- so take advantage of these capabilities and start personalizing your business’s messaging!

7

Voice Search Optimization

Voice search is a sector of marketing that has been evolving over the course of the last few years. What started as a digital marketing trend, is now a digital marketing must-have. It is the fastest-growing form of search, and it isn’t slowing down. More searches than ever are done with voice search via phone and through means like Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and more. Taking advantage of this digital marketing trend in 2021 isn’t just smart, it’s essential for today’s business.

Recommendation: As noted above, companies across the board should take advantage of this shift towards voice search. Content should be optimized for voice search format so that answers are easily populated for consumers, and traffic can ultimately grow for your business. Voice search is a great way to boost traffic, improve rankings, improve user experience, and bring new customers to your business in ways that you couldn’t before. There are many different ways to incorporate voice search into your business strategy, including the use of long-tail keywords, answering FAQs, considering all questions that potential customers may be asking (and answering them), and more! Don’t be afraid to try them all!

8

Content is King

It is no secret that content is king. It has been for a while, and it continues to dominate in the world of SEO and a strong digital marketing presence. Navigating through this new year will be no different. Content is still one of the best ways to reach and engage with an audience as well as motivating them to come back to your business time and time again.

Recommendation: Continuously creating interesting, engaging, optimized content is key for the success of any business. Google has put the highest emphasis on the quality of content in order for a business to rank well in the SERPs, and this remains true in 2021. Optimizing content for keywords, creating content that fulfills the need of searchers, and ensuring that content is engaging are all key pieces in the effort to create a strong content presence on the web. Content is important for your customers, it is an important ranking factor for Google, and it is ultimately one of the biggest opportunities your business has to grow and get in front of the right audiences. Putting content creation efforts at the center of your digital marketing strategy will undoubtedly prove beneficial in 2021, and likely beyond.

9

Employee Engagement Efforts

With the dramatic change in the way in which employees are working comes a dramatic change in productivity and engagement. As a result of the pandemic, many employees now work from home or in some other hybrid form. With this comes an increase in distraction, a decrease in employee interaction, and some less than favorable results. Productivity and morale for employees have seen a decrease across the board in the last year or so, and with employees being the heart of any good company- this is something that should be addressed and prioritized moving through the new year.

Recommendation: It doesn’t matter what the nature of your company is, employee engagement and employee satisfaction are key. Striving for better company culture should be a top priority in 2021 because, at the end of the day, employees are a company’s biggest brand advocates. Finding new and innovative ways to communicate between co-workers and motivate consistent, quality work will prove to be extremely beneficial for businesses this year. The saying goes that you get back what you put in, and employees will undoubtedly give back solid work if a business gives them the tools and motivation to stay engaged and inspired.

10

Don’t Forget the Classics

The digital marketing trends listed above will all be key factors as customers and businesses navigate through 2021. It is important, however, to not forget the classics. Trends are important to stay up-to-date on, but it is key to always remember your tried and true marketing methods that have proven effective for your business. They are called oldies but goodies for a reason, so make sure you find the balance between the latest and greatest trends and the proven classics.

Recommendation: Identify which digital marketing and general marketing techniques have worked, and continue to work well for your business. Make sure they are still focal points in your marketing strategy. Integrate trends and innovative marketing ideas, but be sure that your proven marketing strategies stay at the forefront of your business plan!

Feeling overwhelmed by the endless opportunities your company has in the world of digital marketing?

Don’t worry, our team of experts at e9digital is here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to see how e9digital can transform your business today!