These days, the task of marketing your business must include a huge digital component as the world increasingly transitions to online from real interactions. For most modern businesses, budgets demonstrate the transition to digital. For instance, digital ad spending increased by 12% in 2020, despite the pandemic. No business can afford to ignore the digital landscape and e-commerce these days. So if you’re looking for ways to upgrade your digital marketing for 2021 to take advantage of recent changes, you’re in the right place. Read on and make the most of the advice discussed.
Upgrade your digital marketing
Not only has the impact of digital marketing on your bottom line changed but the way to achieve success in digital marketing also changed with new platforms, new analytics tools, and a renewed emphasis on mobile. You must upgrade your digital marketing strategies to take advantage of these changes if you want to maintain or increase your market returns.
Another way you must upgrade your digital marketing is to recognize the increased buying power of Gen Z. This consumer cohort, born between about 1990 and 2010, are coming into their own, with the oldest of these consumers approaching their 30th birthday. Even the youngest of the Gen Zers are now approaching a time of true, independent consumption driven by their own decisions rather than mirroring their parent’s buying decisions. In the US and Europe, these young buyers also control a lot of buying power — $143 billion, to be exact.
Some of the ways you must upgrade your digital marketing involve simple changes in tactics rather than a strategic shift. We’ll talk about this group of upgrades first.
Build a community around your brand
First of all, you should think about what your brand means to people and how you can draw your customers in closer. It’s not enough these days to simply sell to people, you have to make them feel part of a community around your brand. And that community exists online and on social media platforms. The way you communicate and interact on those platforms helps you create and grow a real community. That strategic imperative remains unchanged.
However, new platforms emerge and changes to existing platforms beg for tactical upgrades to your digital marketing.
Let’s start with the new platforms. TikTok is a new platform that’s impossible to ignore with its 689 million users as of January 2021, which makes it the 7th largest social platform. And, it’s closing the gap with other platforms quickly.
Clubhouse, another new platform, is also gaining steam to the point where it’s still invitation-only because they can’t handle the demand. Originally on iPhone, the app recently introduced a version for Andriod devices to support synchronous conversations similar to talk radio without the censorship provided through screening calls. This is a great tool for encouraging engagement with your target marketing, answering questions, and for influencers to do their thing.
Meanwhile, some platforms are different now than in the past. For instance, the big gorilla in the room, Facebook, while still growing, now attracts an older audience as younger folks drift off to Snapchat, TikTok, and other platforms they like better (and without disclosing information to their parents on the platform). See more on the gender and age of Facebook users below.
Use video content
These days, video content is huge. We all know that people have relatively short attention spans, so if you want to draw people in with content and engage them for longer periods of time, it’s worth adding a little more video content to your arsenal of content marketing techniques.
Video marketing is more time-consuming and requires certain skills but no one expects video content to rival a Hollywood blockbuster. Content is more important than visual elements, which don’t require much more than some lighting (a ring light works fine), an external mic, and an iPhone or other late-model mobile device.
SEO (search engine optimization) was always a moving target and today is no exception. You must upgrade your digital marketing, especially your website, with the latest update to Google’s algorithm — core web vitals metrics. This change, implemented in late May (2021) promotes websites in search based on the visitor experience they provide. Anything that generates a poor visitor experience, such as slow load speeds, results in a lower rank in search results.
Optimizing your SEO strategies for voice search is another way to upgrade your digital marketing for 2021, as more users shift their search to mobile devices enabled with Alexa, Siri, or Cortana or use a device such as Google Home or Alexa stand-alone devices, such as Alexa Show.
The long-expected shift to eliminate third-party cookies is now a reality. To protect user’s privacy, search engines won’t share cookies with digital brands. According to Privacy Bee:
We have to get comfortable with privacy-first data collection practices. That means focusing on list-building and developing one-to-one relationships with customers. Make sure that your campaigns in 2021 help you build your first-party data so you rely less on Other People’s Data.
This change primarily impacts ad targeting and tracking with folks still unsure of how to upgrade your digital marketing to account for this change.
Focus on customer retention
Work hard to retain existing customers by performing flawlessly. Chatbots are a great tool to address visitor questions and customer concerns in real-time. You increasingly find these tools on the websites you visit because they’re useful to customers and brands recognize them as a time-saving tool. Using AI (artificial intelligence), these chatbots never take a day off and have the answers to most questions housed within their massive databases so they can answer most questions quickly and accurately every time. By implementing ML (matching learning) your chatbot gets smarter and more useful over time.
Building personal, one-on-one relationships with customers goes a long way in building customer retention. Building these relationships relies on leveraging deep analytics and employing platforms, like email marketing programs, that support segmented lists and personalized messaging. Don’t forget SMS (short message services) like text messages as a tool to build and maintain customer relationships.
Social platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, support social selling, which taps into your community and influencers to promote sales. These options shorten the customer journey, resulting in higher conversion rates.
Work with reputable collaborators
If you don’t feel confident enough to take on the task of marketing your business online by yourself given these changes, you need to find the right partners to work with; ones who understand how to upgrade your digital marketing for 2021 and which upgrades make the most sense for your strategy, market, and budget. You can search for ‘digital marketing near me’ to see which marketing specialists operate in your area. From there, you can do some research and work out which company represents the best option in your situation.
Changes in the digital landscape mean you must constantly upgrade your digital marketing strategy and tactics. I hope this post helped by highlighting some of the major changes to the digital world and suggesting ways you can adapt to the changing environment.
Need marketing help to support business growth?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get our FREE guide to creating an awesome website, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.