Future of Digital Marketing: 9 Trends for 2021 and Beyond
The world of digital marketing changed massively in the last 18 months. Brands were forced to go online to connect with consumers, posting more and more content, videos and ads.
So how then can you adapt your marketing strategy to compete among this new sea of information?
Here we share what the future of digital marketing holds and how you as a business can stand out from the rest...
Ditch automation and funnels
Consumers are much savvier at spotting sales tactics and knowing when they’re a part of your marketing funnel. While it’s still important to target those cold, warm and hot leads, you can’t get away with copy and pasting their specific marketing messages.
Instead, you need to say goodbye to automation. That includes sale-sy email newsletters, inauthentic messaging, and overly targeted ads.
Embracing relationship building
As we continue to adapt to an ever-growing digital world, the need for human connection only deepens. People are built to crave relationships and this doesn’t just fall into their families and friendship groups. Consumers often identify with their favorite brands and this is created by presenting unique opportunities to get to know your audience base.
Discover ways to engage more with your customers. Can you ask their opinion? Invite them to feedback on a new product? Simply check in to ask them how they’re feeling or where they need help?
When you put effort into building relationships with your audience, you automatically generate a group of individuals who like, know, and trust you - and are much more likely to buy.
Give more than you take
Many brands are still skeptical of giving away free content, advice, and services; But, the act of giving is a proven way to encourage potential customers to buy. Not only does it give them a chance to experience your brand and trust in your expertise. It also demonstrates your passion and values.
Rather than focusing on how you can take sales and take information, think about what you can give to your audience. Go back to the bigger reason behind why you started your business (beyond just to make money!) and show your customers why you are the best in the business.
Up the energy of your marketing
Are you engaging online? Do you show up with authenticity and purpose? Showing up consistently can be hard, but doing so in a passionate way shows your audience how much you love your business.
Make sure your passion and brand vibe is infused into every piece of content you produce. And do so in a way that aligns with how you want your audience to feel and how your audience wants to feel. It could be adventurous, relaxed, creative or safe. Either way, be consistent visually and verbally to really show your audience what you’re about.
Repurposing your content marketing
To stand out from the overcrowded marketing landscape, brands have to show up everywhere, constantly. It’s an intimidating thought - most of us don’t have the time and capacity to be online 24/7! However, once you understand the principle of repurposing content, you can elevate your presence with very little effort.
The secret is to create a content flow, turning videos and blogs into smaller, bitesize pieces of information. A quote becomes a tweet, a clip becomes an Instagram Story… the list goes on.
Find out more about how to repurpose your content with this handy guide.
Choose SEO over paid ads
You might be tempted to throw money at ads on social media and search engines. And while they no doubt will bring in paying customers, it’s a short-term solution that is becoming more and more expensive. If you want to focus on growing an organic audience without paying per click or engagement, then you have to prioritize your SEO strategy.
SEO might be a long game, but once you’re in the runnings, you’ll reap the benefits for years to come. By optimizing your website, growing your offsite presence, and regularly producing valuable content, you can reach a new audience and see your rankings soar.
Not sure where to start? Find out more about our SEO management services and how we help clients reach the top of Google’s search results.
Focus on retention and client experience
Caring for current customers is a commonly missed opportunity. But this group of people is the most important when it comes to upping your sales and brand loyalty.
Those who have made a previous purchase are the easiest target audience - they already know and love you. They’ve experienced your customer service. And most importantly, they have the power to spread your brand through word of mouth - the most valuable form of marketing.
Dedicate time to surprising and delighting your current consumers to create a circle of engaged repeat buyers. Ask them for feedback, give them exclusive discounts, or let them be the first to know about upcoming launches.
Always be authentic
If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that people want realness. They want a human connection, not a life lived through a filter. As influencers, celebrities and platforms continue to open up conversations and live more honestly, brands must do the same.
Turn up authentically and be yourself online. This means only sharing what you truly believe in and staying true to your brand. Trying to be ‘perfect’ and sharing content that you think your customers want to see will only lead to a lack of engagement and a waste of content.
Networking and collaborating
As well as building relationships with your customer base, it’s also important to network within your industry. This is not only great for improving your understanding of your niche as a whole - it can help you grow your audience too!
Engage with like-minded business owners in real life and on social media and apps such as Clubhouse to seek opportunities for collaboration. You could swap guest blog posts, do an Instagram Live together or feature on each other’s podcasts. There are tons of ways to collaborate with fellow brands and engage with one another’s audiences.
Authenticity, human connection, and collaboration will continue to be the theme over the next few years in digital marketing. As more brands go digital and more content is produced, it’s never been a better time to up your marketing game.