2020 has been tough for every business owner and marketer in the world. With the COVID-19 pandemic upending our personal and professional lives, we have to make do with what we have to survive. But as we look into 2021, we have to focus beyond surviving—and begin executing new strategies to thrive.
To get you started, here are some key digital marketing trends that will likely shape businesses in 2021.
Digital transformation is necessary.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced brands to embrace digital channels for marketing and product and service delivery. Pre-pandemic, digital transformation was a way to set your brand apart and get ahead of the competition. But today and in the coming year, brands’ digital transformation is and will be necessary.
Even if there’s now a COVID-19 vaccine in sight, many people will still be reluctant to go out as much as they had in pre-pandemic days. If they need or want something, they will likely go online to purchase it. Your brand should be in the right position and platform to attract this growing consumer population online.
But when every business is online, how can you set your brand apart? Continue to embrace evolving technologies to create a more seamless or convenient customer experience. Buying through a website or a mobile app should not only mimic in-person store visits but also make the customer experience even better.
Communicating sustainability matters.
Months in lockdown showed us the adverse impact of people on nature. As large populations were sheltered in place, the world experienced better air quality, cleaner rivers, less noise pollution, and calmer wildlife. In turn, more people get more attuned to the value of sustainability and even demand it from businesses.
While adopting environmentally friendly practices is a great step, communicating it to your audience also matters. Include this stand in your branding and content—and make sustainability part of your identity. You can display a sustainability commitment banner on your website. You can also discuss it repeatedly on your social media accounts. Say you offer commercial cleaning services. Make sure your clients know you only use green cleaning solutions and methods by reminding them about these through Facebook posts or tweets. Subtle methods work, too, such as packing your products in sturdy reusable tote bags.
Inclusivity in content is key.
The racial inequality protests and other related issues have influenced consumer behaviors. More people, especially younger consumers and marginalized groups, look for equality in the online content they consume and the brands they buy from. They no longer want the homogenous content they used to see.
What does this mean for your brand? You can appeal to more consumers by being inclusive in your content and marketing. Be sure to cover a variety of races, religions, and sexualities. Include representation for people with physical disabilities, too. But don’t overdo it or do it mindlessly. Being inclusive shouldn’t be just for show—it should be part of your identity and commitment as a brand.
Do SEO for images and videos to show up in visual searches.
As more people embrace online shopping, more users discover visual search techniques. Capitalize on this increased number of visual searches by boosting your image and video SEO campaigns. Don’t forget about the basics—always include alt text in image descriptions, add images to the sitemap, and include target SEO keywords in the image file name. Then, familiarize yourself with Google Lens. Dominating this search app can help you drive more traffic to your e-commerce sites and improve your sales online.
The world has been through a lot this year. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and do business. But as marketers and business owners, we should always evolve with the times—and continue to embrace changes that will make our consumers’ lives easier and more convenient.