The ever-present push in the digital age of marketing is finding the most efficient way to advertise and market your business. 2021 is approaching, and it will be a year to see who can rise from the ashes of 2020. Even if 2020 hadn’t been what it was with COVID, it’s always a good practice to ensure your business is on the bleeding edge of emerging marketing technologies. Our team stays abreast of digital marketing trends and predicts these strategies will play a significant role in 2021.
Lights, camera, transactions! Your customers want video marketing
Video has altered the way marketing is done. This statement surprises no one; we’ve seen television ads since our earliest years, but television isn’t the only game in town anymore. Data shows that people are twice as likely to share video content with their friends when compared to other content. Social media shares, video streaming services and live streaming as marketing tools are growing. An impressive claim for video is that it’s twice the bang for your buck. Well, it’s not the only impressive statistic. As 2020 comes to a close, Wyzowl has reported these impressive numbers:
- 83% of marketers say video has helped them generate leads, with 80% seeing a direct improvement in sales
- 84% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video
- 89% of video marketers say video gives them a good return on their investment
- 86% of people would like to see more video from brands in the future. Out of these, 36% say they’d most like to see more educational/explainer video style content, and 14% want more product demos.
Incorporate video into your website, in social media, email campaigns and even sales presentations. If you have a physical location where your customers visit, use video at the point-of-purchase. The uses for video go on and on. So get a camera and capture some of that passion for your business to share with the world!
Users first – the SEO focus that Google demands
Search engine optimization (SEO) is at the core of digital marketing; it’s that special something all businesses want to perfect. Google is always restructuring its algorithms, and we anticipate a new major algorithm shift in the first half of 2021. This means Google will be ranking web pages using new rules, so your SEO work is never done. We know already that the new rules point toward a key priority: User Experience.
User Experience, commonly UX, is how a customer interacts and engages with your site. Google ranks based on metrics, such as:
Does your webpage take more than 2 seconds to load? According to Google, that’s too long. Web pages that take over 1 second to load cause users to seek business elsewhere. Optimizing your website speed and availability improves customer satisfaction and will have a tangible effect on your bottom line.
Now, more than ever, people conduct business on their phones. You may already have a website that you can access from your phone, but how appealing is it on that small screen? According to Google, 50% of people will not purchase from a brand with an unimpressive mobile site. Furthermore, 60% of smartphone users have contacted a business directly through mobile search results if the mobile site appears high and is easy to use. So, spruce up your scroll bars, and make sure your apps are appealing, and search engines shall reward your toil.
Continuing in the vein of user experience, Google search also emphasized the layout of the sites it scans. Now that might sound vague. In actuality, this can mean things, like does your website appear the same on all browsers? It’s likely not worth your time to check your site on every browser on the market, but testing on a couple of the big names (Chrome, Firefox, Safari) can go a long way.
Does it respond well to varying screen types? Under accessibility we talked about mobile sites, but there are a LOT of mobile options these days. Laptops, tablets and smartphones of varying sizes.
Coming in March 2021, Google will be putting forth a Mobile First mindset. In short, this means that anything not appearing on the mobile site will not be considered for page ranking.
Content, that key marketing ingredient, isn’t going away. With all of the aforementioned, it can seem like the whole digital market world is turning upside down, but good content is still a top priority. Google wants pages that demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness on a given topic. High-quality blog writing is a great place to start.
Worth noting for anyone new to the SEO scene: Google is very prudent when it comes to rejecting spam. Avoid trying easy routes to “game” Google. This can include overuse of keywords but extends to most attempts to fool the search engine. It’s worth checking out Google’s guidelines for avoiding being seen as spam. And remember, if you’re building and maintaining your website for a truly optimal user experience, Google will reward you.
Chatting with robots – AI on the digital marketing horizon
Customer engagement is the name of the game; if only you could talk to every customer who had even a passing interest in your business. Well, in 2021 it’s not just a reality, it’s the next big thing. Chatbots are artificial intelligent (AI) programs that open a personal dialogue with every customer.
A chatbot provides 24-hour service and instantaneous responses to inquiring customers. They’re growing in popularity, so much so that by 2022, chatbots are expected to save businesses almost $8 billion annually. This technology is worth considering depending on your business type.
Chatbots can create a similar experience to shopping in a physical store, guiding users to exactly what they’re looking for. They can help ease the irritants that come with online shopping by being a constant companion to every online shopper.
Healthcare practices that are early adopters are reporting positive results from chatbots, which can suggest diagnoses and recommend prescriptions. This has the added benefit of helping patients recognize their symptoms before even walking into the door — saving time and money.
In B2B industries, chatbots aren’t only helping with customers. Facebook is utilizing chatbots, and data tells us this AI technology is becoming the first contact with a lead. The advancing AI can complete vast parts of the sales process, from responding with relevant information to automatically generating follow-up emails to those who show signs of interest. Chatbots can catch those clients you never see!
It may sound daunting, but setting up a chatbot is not that hard. Read reviews on industry-standard chatbots and AI programs, and discuss them at your next marketing meeting.
An experienced digital marketing agency can get you started
Technology is always evolving, and staying ahead of the curve can seem like a challenge. An experienced digital marketing agency can help you take smart steps today to be a better business tomorrow. Digital marketing experts will understand the nuances of video, UX and AI integration and help you take advantage of these developing trends in digital marketing to improve your customer outreach, SEO optimization and customer engagement. Contact us at Group3 to learn more about these and other 2021 digital marketing trends!