Digital Marketing in 2021: What Will Change, What Will Stay the Same?
In the competitive landscape of the digital marketing world, it gets relatively easy to fall behind.
Even if you are on your toes and reading about all the latest technology updates, you still might get overrun by your competitors.
But not all is lost. Sometimes even the best-equipped companies fail to have the best idea, and then you can grab your moment and show why your company is unique.
The important thing is to know all the possible ways you can use to grab viewers' attention.
It certainly helps to hire a group of creative people who know how to use those technological innovations to your advantage.
After all, if we learned anything in 2020, it is the fact that we need to be innovative and flexible in our approach.
Personalisation, automatisation, AI, and chatbots are a few things that are still here for digital marketing in 2021.
But they all have slight changes, and this article will address those changes and show you the best practices for digital marketing in 2021 in each digital marketing realm.
How will SEO change in 2021?
Search engine optimisation is continuously changing due to changes in algorithms and development of technology in general.
But there are focal points on which we should pay attention in 2021.
The focus remained on mobile optimisation, voice search, and AI implementation in the past few years.
Many SEO experts were able to detect the importance of longer content that is useful for readers in the previous year.
Ron Lieback, Founder at ContentMender, explained for Search Engine Journal that he noticed that articles with 2000 words are outperforming shorter.
Write People-Optimised Content
Another exciting trend is Google Passage Ranking, which allows Google to focus on particular content on your page, answering a different query.
This innovation shouldn't change how you create content since there is no superior optimisation for it.
Yet, it would be best if you continued to use your blogs to answer essential questions from your niche in your blog posts.
A helpful tip for Digital Marketing in 2021 – keyword stuffing will be outdated because the search engines now understand the contextual meaning of search phrases and serve different kinds of content.
This means that you need to write people-optimised content.
Another thing that should be in your focus in 2021 is internal linking.
If you do it properly, it can benefit your ranking, as it will keep people longer on your website, and give them all the necessary information in just a few clicks.
This will all be recorded by featured snippets and SERP features that can give you much traffic, or position you as an expert in a particular field.
How will Social media marketing change in 2021?
In the past few years, we heard a lot about how many people are using social media platforms less, but the year behind us left us with nothing else to do.
We prepared #delonga coffee together, watched silly TikTok dancing moves, and watched how celebrities are having a hard time understanding their privileges.
Every social media platform gave us some exciting features and showed glimpses of the future on social media platforms.
Cancel Culture on Social Media
Let's begin with the things that will stay the same in social media marketing in 2021.
The year behind us showed us how gen Z is invested in topics such as equality, inclusivity, sustainability, and politics in general.
It affected brands and some celebrities with high rates of lost followers.
Those who were unable to adapt their content to the current situation and political climate experienced what it means to be cancelled.
Some media platforms like Man Repeller disappeared this year due to the inability to adapt in a current climate, which demands respecting different people and hearing the voices of marginalised.
To avoid this kind of treatment from your followers, we strongly advise hiring people who understand people's perspective and know how to protect brands from irreparable damage.
Not all trends are good. The rise of disinformation on social media is something that we, as a society, will have to struggle until there are some significant regulations.
Twitter tried to manage this when the topic is related to Covid-19, but we hope that other social media platforms will work on this issue.
Facebook mainly, because this platform is marked as the one who shares fakes news rapidly.
Ephemeral and video content on the rise
With Twitter adding Fleets (24-hour content that disappears) it seems that now every social media platform has its version of ephemeral content.
Since it all began, many brands struggled with it, and those who managed to create interesting stories, and explore more features on the disappearing content earned many followers.
So it might be a good idea to hop on that ephemeral content train and explore the possibilities on a platform that your audience prefers.
Also, videos in many different formats will continue to rise.
According to HubSpot, it is a noticeable trend that 35 per cent of marketers use Facebook Live to advertise.
However, you must also pay attention that most of that created video content is usually consumed without sound, so you should invest in adding titles in your video content.
Suppose you are still second-guessing the idea of implementing video into your marketing strategy for 2021.
In that case, we will remind you that 56 per cent of people who have the internet are watching videos on social media platforms each month.
Besides, YouTube is the second-largest search engine, and a YouTube Channel can be a fantastic place to increase your business revenue.
How is e-commerce changing in 2021?
This year pushed many brands to rethink their strategies and understand the entire consumer journey.
Practically, evolution in the brand and online purchasing happened.
Those who can create straightforward ways of purchasing their products will survive, and others will struggle.
Brands experienced in omnichannel marketing, and have all the knowledge around online marketing will be formidable competitors for newcomers.
Also, a big competition in each area of e-commerce will result in higher prices for digital marketing ads.
What can you do about it?
If 2020 were the year in which you realised that your brick and mortar store needs digital presence, you would have to find a good platform and act like this will last for ages.
Because it actually will in one way or another.
We are surely not suggesting that pandemic will last forever, but people will expect their favourite shops to have the option for online shopping.
Good news is that every platform for this is user friendly, and you need a bit of time and patience to set it all up.
The more challenging part is beating the competition and finding the right voice online.
But, we can help you with a few predictions for the future of sales.
One of the most important ones is to track trends for your niche, and at the moment, the primary trend is creating highly customisable products.
For example, the beauty brand Sephora uses golden letters to pick and add to every product that makes birthday presents more interesting.
It also gives your customers the feeling celebrities get when something is named after them.
Another big trend in e-commerce is green consumerism.
According to the Harvard Business Review, 65% of the people who participated in their research said they want to buy from brands that are purpose-driven and advocate sustainability.
So we would advise going greener in future, but try to stay away from green-washing (presenting your products as green if they are not).
That can ruin your brand's reputation in the long run.
Are there any Changes With Email Marketing?
Email marketing might look like something resilient to changes but still keeps an excellent rate of ROI.
This shouldn't trick us into thinking that we should not adapt our email strategies and create more personalised emails with CRM software features.
Like every aspect of digital marketing, emails are becoming more refined and oriented to personalisation and customer-centricity.
So, the main thing on which you should focus on email is the rise of hyper-personalisation.
With a simple trick of adjusting subject lines for every customer correctly based on gathered data, you will increase your email chances to get opened.
And in 2021, it will go far beyond mentioning the name of the person receiving an email.
Software solutions will enable you to understand your visitors' background by analysing their previous actions on your website.
You will be able to send different groups of personalised emails that will look genuine.
Text-Only Emails Trend
We expect to see more text-only emails in 2021 because they look more personal and remind us of emails that our friends are sending our way.
It certainly doesn't mean that you should stop creating branded content with gifs and beautifully curated images.
Still, we would like you to consider text-only emails as a part of email communication with customers.
If you wonder what the best time to use text-only emails is, we can tell you that they are most suitable when you want to get more personal.
For example, if you want to announce some changes in your company culture or share an opinion around a specific cause.
That way, the message you are trying to send will look more important, and it will feel like you are writing it without any hidden agenda, from your soul.
Also, it would be a nice touch to add a handwritten signature just like in our example.
Event marketing is going through the most prominent changes
Event marketing went through extraordinary changes in the last year, and all of our meetings moved online.
Just imagine, Zoom had 300 million meetings per day, and Google Meet had 100 million sessions per day in 2020.
Many of those meetings indeed weren't events, but 2020 will be remembered as the year when we all had a chance to participate in an online discussion.
For those who are thinking about using event marketing as a part of their more robust marketing strategy, it is good to know that virtual and hybrid events will not disappear when we get out of our “lockdown”.
Organisations who previously used online platforms for events will continue to use them in future years and combine them with live events.
The reason for this is the possibility to get a wider audience with an online approach, and that is something marketers didn't expect.
The main shift will be around planning events in the future and creating cohesive strategies.
We can expect the development of event platforms capable of running every event and holding all together in one place.
So, no matter what kind of events you are planning for 2021, our advice is to go for a platform that is adaptable and capable of performing well, no matter if it is in person, hybrid or virtual event.
As a combination of virtual and in-person experiences, hybrid events will be one of the main trends in the event marketing industry.
It will be easy for those who understand and follow digital marketing in 2021 and follow the latest digital marketing trends.
However, the market for digital marketing is rapidly increasing.
New people and new businesses are creating their stores online, and those who have spent some time online feel the increase in advertising prices.
Predictions are that those who implement omnichannel marketing better and work continuously on creating enjoyable customer journeys will have the best chances to succeed.
The core of it all is a personalised approach toward your website's visitors and customer experience that you are giving to those who are just surfing around.
Time changes, but the main thing that remains certain is that people will always appreciate the humane approach and simplicity within digital marketing in 2021 and beyond.
Try to focus on those two in the year ahead of us.