What Digital Marketing trends to look out for in 2021?

It’s that time of year again. 2021 is almost upon us. This means that marketers are looking at the coming year and predicting what trends will shape online promotion.

So far, it seems like digital marketing trends will likely revolve around two concepts:

  • Personal engagement through tailored content that addresses contemporary commercial concerns
  • Optimising campaigns to reflect user intent and campaign structure

In simple terms, understanding what users REALLY want and honing how that is delivered should be the number one priority for businesses.

What will this look like? Well, put the five key digital marketing trends below into practice and you’ll demonstrate cutting-edge marketing that will generate real results.

Visual Searches Using Video and Image SEO

You don’t need to be a digital marketing whizz to see that people want to watch videos online. YouTube has more than 2 billion users and is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google.

If you’re not creating video content, 2021 is the time to start. Need further convincing? According to a report published by Cisco in March, video content will leave static content trailing in the dust as the decade unfolds.

A quick search online and you’ll find a wealth of video marketing statistics that’ll make businesses sit up and take notice. Now, we’re not going to list them all here, this blog isn’t about that, but we’ll mention one:

93% of marketers have said that video marketing has helped them to land new customers!

Want to enhance your brand profile online in 2021? Choose SEO or PPC agency corporate video production company. You won’t regret it.

But what about images?

Well, image search has evolved significantly over the last two decades. And the signs for 2021 are that it will become more and more important. Google has long placed emphasis on correct labelling and optimising images, so expect users in the coming year and beyond to use images to look up more and more information, even make purchases.

Bottom line: website images need to be optimised for SEO. High resolution, relevant, customised images with appropriate file names are essential. Make sure to use alt tags so crawlers can categorise images – and add them to your sitemap. Trust us, this will make a big difference!

Artificial Intelligence Hasn’t Dawned… It’s Now Integral to Marketing

AI’s effect on consumerism and digital marketing cannot be overstated. Just a decade ago, the thought that machine learning algorithms would be able to predict our behaviour, providing us with the answers we seek, was almost considered to be science fiction.

As we venture in 2021, this has all changed.

From chatbots to Gmail’s nudge reminders, predictive search engine results to Amazon’s product recommendations, AI has steadily become integral to our lives.

However, what is especially worth noting is Google’s AI algorithm – RankBrain. Just a few years old, RankBrain is arguably the most important component Google uses to determine the most relevant results to search engine enquiries.

The tool learns, evolves based on insight and signals to retrieve the most relevant information to users, tailoring SERPs to, as precisely as possible, what users want. Best of all? It will only get better with time. So, what does this mean for an SEO agency in Manchester in 2021? They need to make sure that their SEO is optimised for AI.

The big question is, how do SEO agencies optimise their SEO for RankBrain? Well, as anyone in the know will tell you, it’s all about the signals that the SEO performs sends. These could include factors like click-through rate and page time spent. Content should captivate users, be organised and useful. It should provide them with the answers they seek.

Insights into SEO performance will be more important than ever as we move into 2021. If you don’t know how well your SEO performs, how can you provide value to clients?

Long Form Content and the EAT Principal

The days of writing short form content have gone the way of the dodo. Long form content, of 3,000 words or more, gets three times more traffic and four times as many shares.

Focus your content output on scaling back volume in favour of good quality long content and you’ll improve your SERPs. But don’t waffle or pad content out for the sake of padding it out. Make sure it maintains value. Just create more by adding detail. Context. The name of the game is to get users engaged and turning occasional visitors into brand advocates.

Remember too, users don’t want to read reams and reams of copy. Break your content up into H2’s and H3’s. Add links to relevant sources of authority. Don’t add a link to Wikipedia page, seek out Forbes articles, The Economist blogs, WIRED or Bloomberg Business Week, websites users trust. Of course, linking to an article of the same title isn’t the best course of action so find complementary content.

Add images, infographics, screenshots, any visual representation of what you’re trying to get across. Add statistics and testimonials. All this adds value – something that Google and users appreciate.

Speaking of Google, the search engine has reiterated time and time again that their algorithm looks for quality. Why wouldn’t it? After all, the better their search results, the more people will use the search engine!

But what does quality mean to Google? Well, it’s the EAT principal: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Ask any trusted SEO agency in Manchester and they’ll tell you that if you want your business to rank well, you must appease the Google God.

How do you do this? Well, there’s a few ways. Create buyer personas to understand the type of content that will appeal to them. Research user intent to map the customer journey. Then, use the information gathered to tailor your content to what your users want.

So, let’s say that you want to promote your company culture as a primary USP. Why not create a behind-the-scenes video of what your working environment is like? Brand storytelling can set a company apart from the competition, whilst simultaneously captivating customers.

To do this you’ll need to find an agency that knows video marketing. An SEO and PPC agency corporate video production company. A company like Jungle Marketing.

Voice Search and a Mobile First Ethos

It’s been coming for a while. Siri captured the imagination of mobile phone users a decade ago. Today, we have the IoT, Alexa and Google Assistant. Voice commands aren’t going away anytime soon, in fact it’s only getting bigger. By 2022, the amount of homes predicted to use some type of smart speaker is set to grow by 55%!

If you want to optimise for voice search, consider using longtail keywords. Don’t just say ‘digital marketing trends’ ask, ‘what are the best digital marketing trends of 2021.’ Odds are you’ll get much better search results.

In 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing. This was hardly shocking when it has been estimated that by 2025 almost 75% of the world will access their internet via a mobile device of some sort.

But what does this mean for business owners? Simple. If you don’t have a responsive website, one that’s optimised for mobile first, you could well be losing out on valuable revenue. For Google to crawl your website’s URLs, your pages will have to be user-friendly for mobile. Older websites just won’t cut the mustard anymore.

Don’t forget that Googlebot’s (mobile crawlers that simulate how users interact with mobile devices) do not load content based on user interactions, like swiping pictures and clicking buttons. You’ll need to make sure that Google can see this ‘lazy loading content.’ You’ll need a website designer Manchester to make sure that your website is performing optimally on both mobile – and desktop.

Two-Way Conversational Marketing and Commerce

SMS marketing, especially in some global regions like the UAE, has long been a feature of marketing trends in recent years. However, with more people than ever before reliant on a digital infrastructure, it’s likely these will continue, even evolve into RCS (Rich Communication Services) which feature more detailed multimedia communications in 2021 and beyond.

Expect more and more brands to deploy RCS to engage with customers. Spearheading this change is the Cross-Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI) and Google’s RCS Chat which aim to increase how businesses communicate with their customers, creating a seamless, operable carrier experience with the ability to share high resolution photos, make video calls and send large files.

Sectors in the know are already achieving a competitive advantage by using this new, compelling model of conversational communications and as 2021 unfolds it’s likely that more brands in retail, travel and hospitality will likely jump on the two-way conversational marketing bandwagon.

There’s also how conversational marketing will drive commerce to throw into the mix. Brands should already be optimising 24/7 customer communication through chatbots, apps, even social media, but in 2021 expect any astute digital marketing and SEO agency in Manchester to push the envelope even further by integrating marketing into customer support.

Why should brands bother doing this? Well, it allows them to respond to customer enquiries and analyse responses for anticipating customer needs.

This is potent marketing. Why? Every customer response supplies brands with information to improve their service offering and evolve the whole customer experience. Not only that, but brands can also cultivate a stronger customer experience, encouraging customers to spend more money.

So, what will 2021 bring? An evolution of existing digital marketing trends and innovation. This may sound the same when you look back over the digital marketing trends in years gone by, but don’t forget that we’re only a year on from Google’s BERT update – one of the biggest updates of the last five years. Marketers and business owners are still figuring out how to hone their practices to appeal to Google and their customer personas.

Search marketing aside, how we use and interact with technology is evolving. IoT applications are becoming more and more integral to commercial marketing strategy, just as mobile-first marketing did in 2019. This must be reflected in any digital strategy. Longtail keywords are just one example of how businesses can get their products in front of customers quicker.

Digital innovation isn’t going to suddenly grind to a halt. It will continue to accelerate. Expect this to continue into 2021 and beyond. Digital marketing trends must evolve to keep pace with any relevant innovation.

The bottom line is that, now more than ever, businesses MUST be smart about their marketing. They need a digital and SEO agency in Manchester to guide them through what’s happening right now and prepare them for what’s to come.

Can you honestly say that you’re ready?

Call Jungle Marketing for a chat with our experts. 03333001299

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