Are you feeling a little lost when it comes to your marketing strategy? You’re not alone!
After all the craziness of 2020 and the continued uncertainty we’re facing now, many business owners have no idea where to focus their marketing efforts. While we’re big proponents of sticking to the basics, it’s also a great idea to stay in touch with where things are going. Here are a few of the hottest digital marketing trends for 2021. Keep them in mind while you’re developing your marketing plan.
1. Google’s “Position Zero”
If you know anything about search-engine-optimization, you know the goal has always been to get to the “number one spot” in search results. However, things have changed. In 2021 and beyond, the new goal is to reach “position zero.”
This term refers to Google’s “featured snippet.” It’s the small box located at the top of the search results page. Google is now using this space to give users the information they need without having to click on any links.
While you might think it’s counter-intuitive to want to keep someone from clicking on your link, reaching this position shows that you’re recognized as a thought leader. It goes a long way towards building your brand credibility. Many experts believe reaching this coveted spot is far more valuable than the clicks you’re foregoing.
To improve your chances of getting picked up for a featured snippet, you’ll want to create really great, in-depth content that includes snippet-friendly formatting. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve covered all the on-site SEO best practices and have established your domain authority by focusing on ethical link-building and creating a strong social media presence.
2. Conversational Marketing
While phone calls and email used to be the primary method of communicating with customers, conversational marketing takes the customer experience to a whole new level. It works by allowing users to communicate directly with your business using intelligent chatbots.
This creates an experience of speaking directly with someone in the same way you would if you were having an in-person conversation or texting with a friend. It allows consumers to get the information they need quickly while also making the exchange feel much more personal and authentic.
Research has found that most consumers prefer chatting over communicating through phone or email. Since so many people are now working from home, they’re also spending more time than ever buying from and communicating with businesses online. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon. By investing in conversational marketing tactics now, you’ll be setting yourself up for long-term success.
3. Image and Video SEO
Apps like Google Lens are making it easier than ever to create an internet search from an original photo or existing image. In case you’re not familiar with this concept, let’s look at a quick example.
Imagine you’re out with a friend and you see someone with a really unique handbag that you just have to have. In the past, you could have typed in a description, like “brown leather crossbody bag” and then searched through thousands of images and/or websites until you found the same one or something similar. Now, you could use an app like Google Lens to take a photo of it and instantly come up with matches!
While the shopper in you probably finds this incredibly exciting, the marketer in you should as well. If you’re in the eCommerce business, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing things like always including alt text in your image descriptions, including your target SEO keywords in your image filenames, and using high-definition images and videos.
4. A Shift to Inclusivity
Many buyers, particularly those who are younger and/or part of marginalized groups, want to see more equality in the content they consume and from the brands they support. If you want to connect with these audiences, make sure you keep diversity in mind when choosing imagery and creating videos. When appropriate, make efforts to include people of various races, religions, sexualities, and those with physical or mental disabilities.
However, we should mention that you should not do this if you’re just looking for an advertising ploy. To truly be effective, you’ll need to be open to an actual shift in consciousness. This means looking beyond image selection and being more mindful about the topics you discuss on social media, what you cover in your blogs, and even the types of products you offer.
5. Voice Search Marketing
Thanks to the popularity of digital voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, voice search is another trend that’s here to stay. This means it pays to optimize your content and keywords based on what users are likely to ask their devices. Some of the best ways to do this include forming common queries into question phrases, using long-tail keywords, and using natural-sounding language. You’ll also want to make sure your website is mobile-optimized so users who reach it through their devices will have a positive experience.
6. Google-Verified Listings
If you don’t already have one, you absolutely must create a Google My Business (GMB) Listing. Make sure it includes all of the important information about your business – including the address or geographic location, business hours, and contact information.
Not only will having this listing make you look more trustworthy and reputable, but it will also make it much easier for people to find your business. This will put you far ahead of any competitors who haven’t yet created their own GMB listing.
7. Rethinking Your Content
While content will always be king, simply creating lots of great blog posts isn’t enough. Every once in a while, you need to do some “content maintenance.” This may involve consolidating, upgrading, or merging your content pages. While you do this, you can make adjustments for the latest Google algorithms, which will also give you an SEO boost.
While written content, like blogging, will continue to be a cornerstone of content marketing, it doesn’t end there. You’ll want to work on creating content for a variety of platforms. This may include a combination of YouTube videos, podcasts, long-form whitepapers, case studies, infographics, and more.
Take Advantage of These Digital Marketing Trends
No one knows for sure what the coming year will bring. However, adapting your 2021 marketing plan to accommodate one or more of these predicted digital marketing trends will help you position yourself for growth.
Not sure where to start? Discover Bradenton Marketing can help you with your content marketing, SEO, chatbots, and more! Contact us today for a free consultation!