With all of the changes that came about in 2020, there are many updates in digital marketing to be prepared for with the launch of 2021.
First of all, expect the unexpected. As we learned early into 2020, consumer behavior can change in an instant, so always be prepared for change and potentially having to pivot – businesses that remained successful in 2020, in spite of it all, did.
Read on as we dive into some of the top digital marketing trends for the new year.
Keeping Customers Up to Date with Optimized Google Listings
Google My Business (GMB) listings aren’t just helpful to searchers — they’re absolutely essential for local business owners who want to stand apart from the competition. However, it’s not enough to just slap together a profile and call it a day. To be successful, GMB listings must be carefully built and frequently managed.
In 2020, due to the shift that businesses had to make from an in-person, brick-and-mortar operation to online service, Google launched many COVID-related attributes to help businesses adjust and communicate their current state of operations to their customers. So, when it comes to Google My Business, you can expect changes to keep coming in 2021.
The worst thing you can do when it comes to your GMB profile is ignore it. Whether that means failing to even create a listing or not bothering to update it, neglecting the situation means that you aren’t even playing the “game”— but all your competitors are.
There are many online resources to get your Google listing set up and updated with all the new attributes for 2021. It continues to be essential for businesses to embrace Google My Business in all of its constantly changing glory.
Standing Out from the Competition with Zero-Click Searches
Google has been pushing the importance of Google My Business hard, and that will continue in 2021.
Google wants to keep searchers on Google and away from your business website. Did you know that?
If you’ve ever Googled a question and gotten the answer without ever clicking on a website, you’ve experienced a “zero-click search.” Google is applying that technique to Google My Business, which means that people can complete all the functions your website offers without ever actually clicking on it, such as:
- Call or message you
- Ask questions and get answers from people who may or may not even be associated with your business
- Post reviews and photos
- Learn about your promotions
- And many other essential functions and features of your website
You may be wondering how Google does it? Google uses automated systems to determine if a certain page will serve as the right fit for a zero-click search. To get your business featured, make sure your website has content that answers common questions from customers and online searchers.
At the end of the day, you want more conversions and engagement with your business – right? So, do you care whether these opportunities came from a zero-click search on Google or your website? Why not be prepared for both?
Making the Difference with Fresh Content and Personalization
Online content has changed rather dramatically, that’s for sure. It’s not wordy blogs or flashy promotional videos anymore, it’s become all about short-form videos, typically no more than 2.5 minutes.
What’s more trendy than video content on social media? Attention spans are shorter than ever, so it’s time you attempt to bring in new consumers with short-form videos like Instagram Reels, Facebook Live and, naturally, TikTok. Some of the trends to direct your content within short form videos include: more User-Generated Content (UGC); authenticity and transparency; and educational content.
It is imperative to keep in mind that not all platforms will align with your content strategy or brand, it’s all about finding the balance between what’s trending and what’s on-brand for your business.
On the personalization front for 2021, review your current means for direct communication with your customers and revamp them to be personal. Personalize your emails by addressing your specific customers by name. Not to mention, nothing is better than the old school “thank-you” note.
With social media make sure you are interacting consistently and attempting to engage your followers. Ask questions, respond to shares, take polls, etc., as a way to build your connections and get more personal.
In 2021 your online content and personalization will make a tremendous difference when it comes to getting in front of prospective customers and retaining your loyal ones.
Among numerous challenges for small business, 2020 brought about limited in-person interactions between you and your customers and resulted in increased focus and proper strategy on your online presence.
2021 represents a chance to adapt and integrate upcoming trends for your new year marketing. And while only a fraction of these digital marketing trends are represented in this article, remember to stay in the know as we continue into 2021.
You’ll find your business ahead of the curve with the help of these trends and many others.
Sue Malo is a digital marketing consultant with RevLocal. RevLocal provides personalized digital marketing solutions nationwide for small businesses including a la carte services of local search marketing, paid advertising, reputation management and social media all with no contract. Malo can be contacted at email@example.com.