Tag: digital marketing

Digital Marketing Insights and Updates from January 2021

It’s already been a whole month of 2021. We lived a very different holiday season with restrictions due to Covid pandemic, and most of us did all of our holiday shopping online for the first time. Online sales skyrocketed in December 2020, reaching records with over a 30% increase spent. 

This means, digital marketing professionals have to analyse and adjust their strategies to keep up with this fast growing pace. Being up to date with the latest digital marketing news and trends is completely essential. January 2021 has arrived with a lot of interesting updates and we’re here to sum them up for you. 

Digital marketing insights and updates from January 2021

1. Search Marketing Updates

New look and feel for Google Search on mobile devices

Mobile users account for approximately half of world wide web traffic and the number keeps going up. Each year, more people use mobile devices to browse the Internet and, being as user-centered as always, Google is focused on improving their experience as much as possible and launched an update to the design and interface of mobile Search.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

The new look is aimed to offer an easier to read interface with a cleaner design. “We wanted to take a step back to simplify a bit so people could find what they’re looking for faster and more easily,” says Google’s designer Aileen Cheng.

There are five aspects that drove the redesign:

  • Making information the main character: Google aimed at making the information the center of attention. They want users to get the result they searched for as clearly and quickly as possible by minimizing the elements around it.
  • Making the text easier to read: Google decided to change fonts, make the texts larger and bolder. The goal is to make the Search results easier and faster to scan so people can understand them better.
  • More space: another change is that results are now shown edge-to-edge with more white space and less shadows to make it less cluttered.
  • Highlighting with color: Google decided to use color intentionally to guide the user’s eyesight to what’s important. Contrasting color with clean, white backgrounds helps important information stand out.
  • Bubblier design: all of Google’s design is aiming to roundness and they wanted to incorporate this look and feel into the new mobile Search results design interface by rounding edges of icon and images.

Google adds a “price drop” tag to search results

Google made some important changes to its Product Structured Data page that allows search rich results to display price drops. Google uses organised information taken from websites to feed content and display it in the rich results section of search. The purpose of this data is to be eligible to communicate specific information about a web site to be shown in the rich search results.

Digital Marketing Updates Google Price Drop Appeareance

A product, for example, has “Product Structure Data” that contains information about images, reviews, shipping, price and offers. The new feature Google is implementing is called “Price Drop Appearance”, and tracks the price used for the “Offer” schema structured data within the product.

By tracking this information, Google will add the rich result “Price Drop Appearance” when detecting there’s been a price drop. According to Google this new feature is going to “Help people understand the lowest price for your product. Based on the running historical average of your product’s pricing”.

In order to be eligible for the price drop appearance, you just have to add an Offer to the Product structured data and the price has to be a specific number, not a range.

2. Marketing Tech Updates

Google’s alternative to third-party cookies available Q2 2021

As you surely know by now, Google is eliminating third-party cookies for good very soon. This effort into building a more secure internet experience for users, where privacy comes first, is creating major concerns in the digital marketing world. But Google’s not to leave marketers helpless and is currently developing a series of alternatives for third-party cookies.

This is where the Privacy Sandbox initiative comes in, and Google finally shared some insight on its development. The initial proposal was that Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) would group people with similar interests without identifying them individually:

Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) proposes a new way for businesses to reach people with relevant content and ads by clustering large groups of people with similar interests. This approach effectively hides individuals “in the crowd” and uses on-device processing to keep a person’s web history private on the browser. – Google Blog

Google is making this third-party cookies alternative available for advertisers to test in Q2 2021. They have been running tests already and state to have very promising results and say “advertisers can expect to see at least 95% of the conversions per dollar spent when compared to cookie-based advertising”.

The solution aims to provide both users, publishers and advertisers a solution that satisfies their needs by making the web a more secure environment that respects privacy over all things. Google has made a available a Whitepaper that outlines the FLoC’s principles if you want to run your own simulations.

Apple rolls out new privacy feature on iOs 14

Apple is riding the wave of an user-privacy oriented internet and it’s rolling out a new initiative with an upcoming iOS14 update. The App Tracking Transparency will require users to give their permission for apps to track their personal data across other apps or websites owned by other companies.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021 Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

Every app, including the ones from Apple, will be required to ask user’s for their permission to track their activities beyond the use of the app. Users will be able to access their privacy settings at any time, see which apps have requested permission and make changes if they want to.

“Privacy means peace of mind, it means security, and it means you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your own data,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

Apps can continue tracking user’s activities as they’ve always done before, they’ll just need to ask for permission now. This iOS14 update will come early spring in March of 2021.

Google might not show teasers in web stories

We all are familiar with stories, maybe too familiar since every social media platform has added its own version: Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn Stories, Fleets on Twitter, Whatsapp Stories and so on. Web Stories are basically the same thing, but shown in the Google Discover Tab of their mobile app.

Marketers and overall publishers have been including them on their marketing mix as additional channel to communicate and engage with their audience. However, Google has detected some “bad practices” and released an article stating that they’ll stop ranking teaser stories.

According to Google, they’ve discovered that users don’t want to see content that teases them and essentially works like ads to redirect them to other content. They say “Readers don’t like to feel forced to click through to a connected blog post to finish reading”.

With this in mind, Google shared a few dos and don’ts for optimizing Web Stories strategies and content. Being kind of a new channel, it’s understandable that we’re still discovering how to really profit from it and these tips might help with that:

  • Focus on creating quality content
  • Showcase a product and share link to where you can buy them
  • Tell a complete story that inspires users to dig a little deeper
  • Create the same story that connects to an article about the same topic, but with a different angle
  • Don’t tease the audience with uncompleted content they have to click-through to finish

3. Social media updates

Clubhouse: The invite-only new social media everyone is talking about

Clubhouse is a new social media platform where users share audio-only content instead of images or text posts. It was launched in 2020 by Alpha Exploration Co. and valued at $100 millions by December 2020.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

BERLIN, GERMANY – JANUARY 26: The invitation-only audio-chat social networking app clubhouse is pictured on a smartphone on January 26, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

It’s an invite-only platform, which means you can’t join unless an existing user sends you an invitation. The app has audio chat rooms users can join and participate, or create their own. The owner of the virtual room decides who can speak and participants can raise their hand to join the conversation.

The themes of the chat rooms vary from politics, books discussions, comedy shows, debates or simple impromptu conversations. Each person gets one invite when invited by another friend, and after a while you get 3 more. You also have to be an iPhone user, since the app is only available for iOs.

Twitter acquired newsletter platform Revue

Twitter wants to offer writers, publishers and creators new ways to share their content. They have been exploring for monetization means and newsletters have always been a valid option. With this in mind, the social media platform has acquired Revue, a Dutch startup that allows content creators to send and monetize editorial newsletters.

Digital Marketing Updates January 2021

The main goal here is to encourage publishers to keep creating content with the incentive of monetization, while helping audiences connect with their favorite content creators.

Many established writers and publishers have built their brand on Twitter, amassing an audience that’s hungry for the next article or perspective they Tweet. Our goal is to make it easy for them to connect with their subscribers, while also helping readers better discover writers and their content.

Twitter informed that they’ll continue working with Revue as a standalone and make the platform’s pro features free for all users, while lowering the paid newsletter fee to 5%.

LinkedIn launches “LinkedIn Marketing Labs” on-demand courses

LinkedIn has launched a free new learning platform called LinkedIn Marketing Labs. It’s about online, on-demand video courses to teach marketing professionals how to use LinkedIn ad tools. It’s LinkedIn strategy to face the controversial and divided opinions marketers have about the effectiveness of ads within the platform.

The courses cover everything from a basic introduction to LinkedIn Ads, how to target audience, reporting and analytics.

  • Introduction to LinkedIn Ads
  • Using LinkedIn’s Ad Targeting
  • Reporting and Analytics for LinkedIn Ads
  • Building a Full-Funnel Content Marketing Strategy on LinkedIn
  • Using LinkedIn for Brand Awareness
  • Using LinkedIn for Lead Generation

The courses are curated by experts and you can tailor them to fit your own needs. Customer Marketing Manager from LinkedIn, Renee Lowe said that “there’s an art to using LinkedIn advertising tools, but there’s a science behind it as well.” She states that all marketing professionals, regardless of their knowledge of LinkedIn advertising tools, can benefit from the courses.

The courses are already available and users will be directed to the most interesting courses for them, based on the answers of a short form when accessing Marketing Labs.

We’ll keep tracking the most important digital marketing updates and insights every month! In the meantime, you might like:

The Future of Digital Marketing Without 3rd Party Cookies
Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

The Future of Digital Marketing Without 3rd Party Cookies

The definitive elimination of third-party cookies is imminent. In less than a two year period, Google will join Safari and Firefox blocking them for good from their Chrome Browser. This means the digital marketing landscape will change dramatically and marketers need to start thinking outside the box and redefine the way they reach their customers

future of digital marketing without third party cookies

Even though third-party cookies blocking it’s not new, the fact that Google is deciding to join other companies, puts the final nail to the coffin. Chrome is the most used web browser in the world. According to data from StatCounter “Chrome holds 64.92% of the global browser market. If we compare that to the number of internet users worldwide, we reach a figure of roughly 2.94 billion Chrome users in 2019”.

How do third-party cookies work?

Third-party cookies are generated by a different website from the one the user is currently visiting, and its data is mainly used for cross-site tracking that allow actions like retargeting ads or contextual display ads. If you think about it, this can easily be interpreted as 3rd party cookies being invasive and represent a very poor reflection of the user, given that they did not actually express any interest in the brand or product they’re being presented with. 

On the other hand we have first-party cookies. These cookies are small bits of information gathered from users from the website they’re visiting at the time. The data stored, like language settings,  allows these website’s owners to enhance user experience on the internet. Their main goal is to recognize each user, remember their preferences and ultimately offer a more personalised navigation. 

Third-party cookies have been around for many years and have shaped the digital marketing world in many ways, helping brands to display ads to a more relevant audience. With their blocking, the biggest concern for marketers is the fear of not being able to reach potential customers, losing revenue and the overall alteration on how they track and retarget users.

Google has announced their intent to replace them with browser-based tools as part of their “Privacy Sandbox” initiative. They claim that “some data practices don’t match up to user expectations for privacy” and aim to build a more private web with this action. 

The Sandbox initiative is a solution that limits the amount of user data exchanged through websites by anonymously aggregating user information and still ensuring that ads shown remain relevant for customers, whilst keeping a lot of data on-device only. 

This initiative is still under development and Google is seeking industry feedback to keep on going. In the meantime and in addition to Google’s solution, since retargeting with third-party cookies will no longer be an option, what can be done about it?

The future of digital marketing without 3rd party cookies: How to face the cookieless Internet

The third-party-cookie-killing action that aims to create a more private and personal web experience for users, can even benefit publishers. Marketers could feel that losing them will leave an immense gap impossible to fill, but that might not be the case if they rethink first party cookies, optimize other marketing channels and create a multichannel marketing strategy. 

1. Rethinking first-party cookies

“The more the merrier” might not be the case for the future of digital marketing. While third-party cookies allow retargeting a vast amount of prospective customers, thanks to cross-site tracking, first-party cookies offer marketers the possibility of sending relevant messages to the right people. First-party collected data should become a priority from this point forward. 

Users that visit a site and agree to first-party cookies, are already saying that they find that content useful and of value, with an increased intent to buy or engage with the site when presented with a retargeting action like an ad. 

Even though marketers will have less people to send their message to, the data gathered from users that accept first-party cookies will be much more valuable for businesses. It will allow marketers to create users’ profiles with more detail and design tailored retargeting campaigns to reach them. 

The elimination of third-party cookies will make users feel they have more control over their experience online and how their personal data is handled and exchanged. This will translate into them being more open-minded to allowing first party cookies and this will benefit marketers in the long run. 

2. Optimizing existing marketing channels

Digital marketing professionals that have been relying way too much on running ads based on  the use of third-party cookies to reach their customers, need a mind shift. Mass targeted advertising will end as we know it and hopefully opens the door to a more personalised and comprehensive use of other traditional and diverse marketing channels that don’t require third-party cookies, such as web push notifications, emails, SMS, content marketing and contextual advertisement. If you have always been a 360° digital marketer, this won’t catch you off guard.  

  • Web push notifications present an all in one retargeting solution for online businesses. They obviously don’t need third-party cookies to work, but also don’t require users to share any type of personal data to subscribe. With this channel it’s possible to retarget anonymous users through every step of their shopping journey, outside of the site, with hyper-personalised messages based on their behaviour. 

digital marketing insights november 2020

  • Email and SMS marketing have always been very powerful channels to engage customers independently from third-party cookies. They offer the possibility of sending personalised information to users based on their behaviour on your site, such as abandoning carts. They’re also great to inform about special sales, promotions and discounts as a mass communication tool. Emails usually have great CTRs and are fairly easy to configure and use, as for SMS have very high open rates and great reachability. 
  • Content marketing is aimed into generating traffic, leads and building audiences through the creation of high quality and valuable content. It’s an oldie but a goodie of the digital marketing strategy, and nowadays a must-have for any brand or business. The focus of content marketing is to draw the users’ attention, making them visit your site and finally engaging with them without any requirement of third-party cookies. 
  • Contextual advertising is the digital equivalent of hanging a sneakers shoes ad in a sports store. It’s about being present where your customers are. One of the great benefits of using contextual advertising is that users find them more relevant and much less invasive than retargeting ads shown because of third-party cookies cross-site tracking.  These ads are based on the content the user is consuming at that exact moment, instead of their overall internet behaviour, which makes them a lot more pertinent. 
  • People-based marketing uses specific data collected from one individual’s behaviour to identify them. It’s a more intelligent way to track customers and retarget them through relevant ads. Cookies are device-specific unless user id’s are merged, which means that, when a user browses a product in his work computer, and then purchases it from his phone, or changes browser, the retargeting footprints are lost. Businesses could be wasting a lot of money retargeting users that have already converted. People-based marketing avoids that by taking your customer’s data from your CRM and connecting it with all their online identities. 

3. Create a multichannel marketing strategy

All of the mentioned tools have greater power if combined in a seamless multichannel marketing strategy. It’s a practice where interaction between brands and customers take place throughout different communication platforms. Reaching out to users through a variety of channels increases the opportunities of engaging with them. 

the future of digital marketing without third party cookies

A correct combination of different tools will allow you to connect with your customers on a deeper level. You have to be present where they are, and the best way to reach them is designing different messages that adapt to both the characteristics of each marketing channel and your user’s needs. 

If you depend too much on third-party cookies, your digital marketing strategy will fall short and you’ll be missing out on hundreds of possibilities to engage with your audience. Combine emails, web push notifications, content marketing and any other cookie-independent channel that fits you to increase your brand awareness, reach new customers and retain existing ones. 

Cookieless future is not so dark

The news of Google eliminating third-party cookies might have come like a hard blow to many digital marketers. However, we think of it as an opportunity to sharpen our strategist skills and seize the advantages offered by more detailed data of specific customers that are willing to share it with us. 

In times of hyper-personalisation, and with all the cookieless channels available, there’s no excuse for not doing our best as digital marketing professionals to better understand our customers’ expectations and respond accordingly. 

People are seeking a balance between privacy and personalisation. So, an internet without third-party cookies might be what’s missing from the equation. Users want to receive suggestions about services or products they might like, but they also want to have a say on how and why these messages reach them. 

Brands have to focus on being genuine and building trust with their customers. If users feel their personal data is used to actually improve their experience online, and not just for businesses’ private agendas, they’ll be more willing to share it. The disappearance of third-party cookies might help them understand why their information is so important for online businesses.

There’s still time to prepare for the final elimination of third-party cookies: focus on giving customer privacy the importance it deserves and on creating well-rounded multichannel marketing strategies to deliver relevant messages. 

Here are some articles that might help you reshape your digital marketing strategy and be ready for Google eliminating third-party cookies:

Digital Marketing Insights from December 2020

It’s hard to believe that December is over. Even though 2020 was a very strange and difficult year due to Covid-19 pandemic, time flew by and the end of the year is upon us. As we do it every month, we have kept track of everything that happens in the digital marketing world and we have gathered the most important and relevant marketing updates and events for you. Here you have the:

Digital Marketing Insights from December 2020:

1. Search Marketing Updates December 2020

Google tests interactive search results

As the ever-improvement platform they are, Google has been experimenting with interactive search results pages. The newest tests add a very discrete and small icon next to the search results that, when hovered by users, show images from the respective site. 

This new feature is promising in terms of enriching user experience when browsing online. Offering the opportunity to have a preview of the content, will help users know if that site is actually relevant for them before clicking on it.

google-interactive-search-digital-marketing-updates

Digital marketers have their doubts and concerns about how it will affect click-through rates. The interactive search result feature can have a major impact on sites that offer very descriptive images about their content against those that don’t. 

Even though Google hasn’t offered any official documentation so far, marketers should start thinking about their content strategy and how to adapt to this new feature. Carefully selecting descriptive images that show what the site’s about and help users know what type of content they´ll find there will be key. 

digital-marketing-updates-december-2020

The feature even allows search results to show more than one image when hovering over the small icon. Google’s testing will provide information and insights about how images can offer more relevant and accurate information to users about the content of a page.

Google Maps searches incorporate 4 new features

Google definitely knows how to keep us on our toes every month adding new features to all of their services and platforms (this article might as well be a “Google Updates from December” one). 

Let’s talk about the 4 new changes to Google Maps: 

1. Messaging from Maps and Search

The first and most exciting feature is the new messaging service. Google is bringing messaging capabilities into Maps and Search with the purpose of facilitating communication between local businesses and their customers. 

Every business with a verified profile can now message directly with clients from the Google Maps app. The messages will show in a “messages section” in business the updates tab.

digital marketing insights december 2020

This new feature is only available in-app at the moment, but Google plans on bringing it to desktop as well. The messaging option can be turned on or off in the setting panels of Google Maps and Google My Business apps. 

2. New Performance Insights

Google is also adding new metrics to help local businesses track their performance by measuring the number of customers engaged via Maps and Search. The update includes insights that show queries clients are using to find their business in Maps and Search. 

The information provided will cover:

  • Amount of searches that triggered the business listing
  • Performance comparison from previous year
  • Search terms customers used to find the profile of the business
  • Time of each search term triggered the profile

With all this new data added to their performance insights, businesses will be able to know exactly how customers reached them. This is very valuable information that can help them adapt their marketing strategy and make the most out of the use of Google Maps.

4. Community feed

Google is adding a community feature to Google Maps Explore tab. Here, users will find the latest reviews, photos and posts added to Maps by other community members they follow and local experts.

digital marketing updates december 2020

This update gives local businesses more reason to keep their information up to date. With regular posting, they’ll have the chance to show up in people’s feed and engage with customers. 

4. Street View photos added by users

The Street View feature is getting a very exciting update in which users will be able to upload their own photos to the platform using their phones. Using the app, contributors can take and record a series of photos while they move through a street and upload them to Street View.

digital marketing updates december 2020 google street view

Google will take care of rotating, connecting and creating the sequence of images. 

2. Marketing Tech Updates December 2020

Whatsapp introduces in-app shopping 

Whatsapp introduced a new shopping cart feature to their platform. Now users have the possibility to buy products from business through direct messages. With a small shopping button, customers can access a store’s catalog directly from their chat screen.

 

digital marketing updates december 2020

Users can browse the entire range of products, select multiple options and place their order as one unique message. Customers can access information about their order details by tapping the “View Cart” button on the chat and keep track of the process. 

This new Whatsapp shopping feature is aimed at helping out small businesses. Making the purchasing experience as seamlessly as possible, for both shoppers and businesses, is a direct bet on supporting small commerce. 

Google launches ads for Web Stories

We’ve talked about Web stories before on our Digital Marketing Updates from November 2020. They’re rapidly becoming a must to include in any digital marketing strategy. They present a conveying format to communicate and engage users. Just until now, publishers didn’t really have means to monetize web stories, other than sold ads or affiliate links.

digital marketing updates december 2020 web stories ad

Google is about to change that by launching a programmatic ads solution for web stories. The new added feature opens the door for content creators, publishers and marketers to easily earn money from their web stories. 

Story ads are available for everyone that uses Ad Manager and AdSense. The ad will show in between Web Story content to optimize user experience:

“The frequency and position of Story ads in the context of your Web Story is dynamically determined to optimize both user experience and monetization potential.” – AMP

3. Social Media Marketing Updates December 2020

Pinterest boards upgraded with 3 new features

The mothership of inspiration is getting 3 new features to help you keep that creativity flowing. Pinterest boards are getting upgraded with new options to help users make a more productive use of their time in the platform. 

1. Notes to self feature

Pinterest has added a new section where users can create private notes for themselves. When saving a new pin, they can add a short comment with reminders about why they saved said pin or any type of information they want.

digital marketing updates december 2020

2. New board toolbar

A new toolbar has been added with the purpose of making a more simpler navigation experience. It’s located at the top of the screen and it shows all the actions that can be taken on a board:

  • Exploring related pin ideas
  • Organizing existing pins
  • To-do lists
  • Viewing notes

digital marketing updates december 2020

This new feature will surely be thanked for by Pinterest users that save an average of 150 pins in one board. 

3. Board favorites

Pinterest is adding a function that allows users to mark pins as favorites. Given the number of pins a board can have, this feature might be long overdue. 

Once a user has created a board, they can mark some of those pins with a star making them a favorite. This feature makes it so easy to revisit and find the best pins on each board without having to lose lots of time browsing through hundreds of pins. 

LinkedIn launches Product Pages

LinkedIn announced the rollout of Product Pages: a tab dedicated to showcasing company’s products. The aim here is to “help companies build conversation and community around their products”, according to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

digital marketing insights december 2020

 

They state that 70% of customers do an online research of the products they want before purchasing. Visibility and easy- to-access information is key in the decision making process of customers: your product needs to be within users’ reach. 

The new LinkedIn Product Pages promise to help businesses create awareness around their solutions, generating more valuable leads and contributing to overall company growth. The new feature allows brands to spotlight product endorsements, share testimonials and gather user feedback.

We hope our digital marketing updates from December 2020 shade some light on to what’s new in the industry. Make sure you check out our latest blog posts and Happy New Year!

Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

2020 has been an unusual year in many ways, to say the least. Covid-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives. From how we behave socially, to how we work and how companies operate all over the world. Migrating to a digital environment has become the only viable option to stay on the map for many businesses, and this has greatly impacted on digital marketing strategies. 

The forecast for, at least the first quarter of 2021 is not all that different. More and more companies will have to move online and employees to keep working remotely. This “new normal” makes digital marketing the life saver for businesses to stay afloat, gain new customers, retain current ones and generate revenue. 

Here are the top 9 digital marketing trends for 2021:

1. Allocate some budget to cookieless awareness campaigns to reach new audiences

For a big portion of 2020 people all over the world were under mandatory lockdown. This means, not going out, no malls, no stores: no window shopping of any kind for a long time. Customers lost the possibility of looking around stores and discovering products they didn’t even know existed and less that they wanted them. 

digital marketing trends 2021

During lockdowns, shoppers probably received tons of retargeting advertisements showing them offers and deals on products they expressed interest in based on their browsing history. But what about new products? What about those specific articles they don’t get the chance to discover anymore? Additionally, what about those users who never allow cookies?

Personalised ads use cookies to track user behaviour, and based on that, it’s possible to target users. They are great for e-commerce stores that have an existing audience aware of their products. However, targeted advertisement encloses shoppers in a continuous loop of products they already know they like, and have already probably bought. 

With non-personalised ads (NPAs) you have the possibility of creating brand awareness amongst users that didn´t know your business. You can reach new audiences showing customers products they weren’t aware of before, but that could still interest them, thus increasing your potential customer base. Additionally you will have the possibility to reach users who block cookies.

Usually, non-personalised ads have lower conversion rates. But at this era of lockdowns when the digital ad inventory is larger than ever, you might want to allocate some budget on them to test.  In 2021 it will be more important to keep testing  and measuring different types of campaigns and channels. As a digital marketer it is important to keep trying new (and old) alternatives, measure their profitability and find a sweet balance between both.

2. Cutting back on social media platforms in 2021

It seems that a new social media platform is born every other minute. Nobody knows what the next big thing will be, and even when we don’t expect it there’s another channel with millions of users that brands have to be present on. 

Designing and creating fresh, valuable content for each social media platform with a constant publishing flow can be draining and an uphill battle for brands, especially small ones. Digital marketing trends for social channels in 2021 suggests brands stop trying to maintain presence in all platforms and focus their efforts on a more sustainable way. 

social media trends 2021

Businesses need a mindset change and start prioritizing their social media. Dedicating more resources to their strategy, doesn’t necessarily mean hoarding platforms. It means to work more efficiently and intelligently on the specific social media channels where their audience is in. It’s better to have a strong presence on 3 or 4 platforms than a weak one in all of them. 

3. Optimizing social media shopping in 2021

If normally people spend a lot of time of their days on social media, during 2020 that time has exponentially increased. According to Whatagraph:

In 2018, the average time spent on social media in a day by an adult was 142 minutes, which rose to approximately two and a half hours in 2019, followed by 3 hours in 2020. This is bound to increase as more than 3 billion people are expected to access social media sites by 2021.

That means businesses have more chances to make a sale if their product is available on social media platforms. That’s where the users are, and shoppable posts make the process so much easier for them. Facilitating discovery, personalization, payment and delivery is so important for users. Brands need their product to be where the users are. Just having a Shopify, Woocommerce or Prestashop online store is not enough anymore. 

digital marketing trends 2021 social media shopping

Social media platforms are helping marketers make their products more accessible to people. They are including features that make it easy for brands to upload and showcase their goods, and for customers to purchase items without even leaving the app. This is a trend that will keep on growing during 2021 and it’s a wave retailers should ride. 

Creating a store with social media is free and easy. Brands can choose what products they want to showcase, personalise their listings with photos, different colors and fonts. Facebook Shops even includes the Catalog feature where you can group products in different categories making it easier for customers to browse the store. 

New features even make it possible to showcase products during live streamings for viewers to purchase directly on Instagram, and for businesses to connect and keep track of their loyalty programs on the app. 

4. Interactive content in 2021

With users spending more time browsing the internet every day, it’s important to offer them a valuable experience. You want to connect with customers, and the way to do it is with interactive content. It doesn’t just encourage engagement, it offers entertainment. 

interactive content digital marketing trends 2021

Content marketing has been a trend in the digital world for a while. However, for 2021 digital trends, is considered more of a best practice. Providing interactive content is a tendency that moves along personalization. 

Some of most popular interactive content ideas are:

  • Quizzes
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Contests
  • Giveaways
  • Interactive videos
  • Calculator widgets
  • Games

Including one, or a mix of these strategies can do wonders for your business. On top of enriching users’ experience with your brand, you’ll increase the time they spend on your site engaging with your content. 

5. Sharp local SEO in 2021

Small business owners must know that it’s extremely important to keep their digital presence strong on SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). If you own a store, you are probably aware that most of your customers are drawn mainly on a local level. The most important thing you can do is to ensure that your store appears on “near me” Google searches. 

digital marketing trends 20210 local SEO

Google constantly updates their local SEO algorithm and you should update your local business information as well. Tools such as Google My Business offer extremely valuable information for customers, but it’s up to you as a local business owner to keep it up to date for them. 

Claim your business property and get verified by Google. Then you can provide information about your business such as: opening hours (that are constantly changing due do Covid restrictions), geographic location and services.

6. The boom of voice Search in 2021

Voice search commands have been around since 2011 with the appearance of Siri. More recently, with the introduction of devices like Google Home and Alexa into our living spaces, users are becoming more accustomed with requesting information using voice search. According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, 20% of search queries are done by voice.

voice serach digital marketing trends 2021

As this tendency grows, businesses need to start considering optimizing their content and including voice search into their digital marketing strategies. The first step is to create content that adopts a more “conversational” and natural style that matches how consumers ask questions. Creating queries into questions and having a mobile friendly site are key as well.  

Voice search optimized content gives businesses the opportunity to reach new audiences, given that the results are often different than if the users typed in a regular text search. 

7. Optimizing Digital Marketing with Artificial intelligence 

Digital marketing strategies can be greatly optimized and improved with the correct use of Artificial Intelligence. AI offers marketers the power to collect valuable insights on user behaviour, campaign performance and analysis they can use to optimize their digital marketing campaigns and overall communication with customers. 

Once all the data is collected by AI, it can react to it. This makes it possible to provide a better customer experience with personalised content. E-commerce sites can benefit from artificial intelligence by showing users products that are relevant for them based on their previous behaviour, such as searches, purchases and views. 
For example the use case of Frizbit, one of the major European marketing platforms in Europe providing web push notifications, is quite an interesting and useful form of AI. They collect all behaviour data while users are browsing, then process it and trigger automated push notifications with hyper-personalised content based on user behaviour.

ai digital marketing trends 2021

Once a user accepts to receive them, they’ll get messages specially designed for them based on their behaviour in the site. If they browsed a category, product or added an article to their shopping cart a message will be delivered with specific information regarding what they liked. 

Thanks to AI, marketers can make product recommendations to users, hyper-personalisation of messages, optimization of display and search ads, email marketing and even content marketing by discovering what works better and what type of content is more effective. 

8. Video marketing & Webinars in 2021

Audiovisual content is a powerful tool that easily grabs attention and engages viewers. It offers the possibility to share lots of content in a short amount of time using a very dynamic format. 

digital marketing trends 2021

These inherent qualities of videos make them more relatable for everyone. Most of us prefer to watch a short video than to read long articles or posts. Social media is a great channel to share video content since all platforms have included features to create and share short videos like stories and reels. 

instagram reel digital marketing trends 2021

Covid pandemic has also contributed to the raise of video marketing as a key element on any digital strategy. Webinars, for example, have become necessary to substitute face-to-face events in all industries. 2021 trends aim that this isn’t going to be a temporary thing and marketers should include video content as a regular on their digital marketing mix. 

9. Automated Smart Bidding Strategies in Google Ads

Automatization is the future in many digital marketing strategies. When running a Google Ads campaign, marketers spend lots of time and resources manually optimizing their keywords and bids. On top of being very time consuming, there could be lots of speculation that could be detrimental to your campaign. 

Automated bidding on Google Ads takes away all that guesswork and helps businesses achieve their goals more efficiently. Google takes care of analysing all the data and adjusts the bids accordingly to improve your campaigns performance. 

Even though automated bidding isn’t all that new, Google has improved a lot in the past year, making it essential for digital marketing strategies in 2021. Marketers can rest assured and dedicate their valuable time on optimizing other aspects of their marketing mix. 

In a few words…

The truth is that, even with our best efforts, we can’t really anticipate what the future of digital marketing in 2021 will look like (marketers thought they could earlier this year, and look at what happened). The year 2020 has been a disruptive one in many ways, and that has brought us down to earth and hit us with the reality that we don’t know what’s going to happen. 

Digital marketing trends for 2021 move towards automation and personalization. The tendencies are aiming at offering users super personalised content and to alleviate the pressure on marketers to do so thanks to automation tools powered by artificial intelligence. 

Brands should focus their efforts on creating customer-centered marketing and content strategies that connect with users. This has been a trend in digital communication for a while now and is the trend that won’t die, especially during uncertain times. 

What are your thoughts on digital marketing trends for 2021?

While you think about it, check out:

Digital Marketing Insights from October 2020

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