The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed how businesses operate, forcing many to pivot their marketing strategies. 

Over the last year, we’ve seen more products and services move online than ever before, and many employees will continue to work remotely or in a hybrid setting for much of next year. We expect these changes to drastically shift existing marketing trends as we head into a new year. 

What are the key digital marketing trends for 2021 that your business needs to consider to engage and retain current customers and generate more traffic, leads, and revenue? 

We’ve identified a few trends for you to consider. 

1. Social Media – Still King!

Organizations should be prepared to dedicate more resources to social media marketing in 2021. 

Last year, Social media budgets accounted for 24% of total US marketing budgets, a dramatic increase from 2019. Why is social so important? The pandemic has dramatically increased the amount of time people spend online which includes how they research products, brands, and organizations. 

This shift in consumer behavior creates new opportunities for marketers to increase their reach via social media. We recommend creating a plan for both organic posts and a paid social media strategy in the new year to drive customer retention and create new leads. 

2. Go all-in with Local Search

If you own a small or local business, we truly believe that one of the most important things you can do is ensure your local listings are verified and kept current on various search platforms. 

Most importantly is Google My Business. Google My Business listings provide valuable information about your hours, services, and geographical location. This is a great way to ensure your customers can find your important business info. 

We also think that whenever google provides a tool (like Google My Business) it is in your best interest to use it. A complete and fulfilled Google My Business account makes Google happy, and if you know a thing or two about SEO, you know how important that is.

3. Personalization

If you want to stand out in 2021, you need to personalize your marketing. Why? 

  • 63% of consumers get annoyed with generic advertising efforts
  • 80% of people say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences
  • 90% claim that while it can be alarming, it is also appealing to see ads personalized 

How can you personalize your efforts? Start small by serving an ad to someone who visited your product page and did not convert. Or start even smaller by personalizing your monthly newsletters with the recipient’s name. 

4. Video

The phrase “content is king” should really be changed to “video is king” in 2021. Why video? 

  • 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video
  • 72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate
  • Brand loyalty among millennials increases by 28% on average if they receive personalized marketing communications 

Do you have videos created for your brand? 

5. Visual Search

Did you know that when you go to Google, you can search for an image or video and click on the images tab to see a result? 

More and more users are changing their behavior to use image search. To capitalize on the increased amount of image searches, you need to ensure you are taking advantage of some basic SEO practices, such as: 

  • Including alt text for all images on your website
  • Including images in your sitemap 
  • Use image file names with your basic SEO keywords when possible
  • Make sure your images are high res

If you are an e-commerce brand, make sure you are familiar with Google Lens too! 

While these digital marketing trends don’t represent a complete list, there’re a great place to start when planning your 2021 marketing strategy. Want a more detailed and tailored approach to propel your business forward in 2021? Give us a call and we will help get you on track!