Digital Marketing Trends In 2021
Global data giants McKinsey & Company blew people’s minds with a recent report stating that the world has experienced seven years of digital transformation and growth since the beginning of COVID.
This astonishing finding isn’t about the “Ooh, look at all the whizzy innovation going on! We’ll soon have flying cars and be fitting dogs with voice boxes that make them talk like humans” stuff you hear about in science magazines and on TV gadget shows.
It’s been about necessity and survival. Businesses of all shapes and sizes have had to rapidly transform themselves into digital organisations over the past 15 or months just to get by. And some have thrived as a result of embracing digital.
The world is showing some signs of returning to ‘normal’ but don’t let that fool you into thinking that businesses will return to their pre-COVID ways. Oh no, siree!
The shift to digital will continue apace – and any business that doesn’t keep up is bound to find things very difficult indeed.
So, what are the digital trends that will dominate in 2021 and beyond?
Mobile Shopping Is On The Up Up Up
It’s not a case of ‘The sky’s the limit’ with smartphone shopping, because it’s already rocketed through the earth’s atmosphere, beyond the moon and is currently selling Castor and Pollux a snazzy pair of new trousers each.
It’s gone bonkers since the beginning of COVID, as people across the planet have massively embraced online shopping via their phones.
Initially, that was because lockdown gave them very little choice; but very willingly since, having realised how convenient and enjoyable it is to shop in this way.
And those newly formed habits are here to stay.
So, what does the immediate future hold for mobile shopping?
Well, it’s all about experience, isn’t it?
- Exciting content, like slick videos, CGI images and augmented reality
- Great functionality and ease-of-use
- That all-important personal touch, like laser-targeted product recommendations and genuinely helpful customer care that keeps shoppers returning time-and-time again
And if you’re building an eCommerce store focused on desktop, STOP RIGHT NOW, because everything you do has to be ‘mobile-first’ if you want to attract and retain customers.
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Product Content Has To Be ‘On Fleek’
Not so long ago, you could get away with just throwing a product listing up on Amazon with a simple image and a bit of blurb pulled from the product label or a press release.
Those days are long gone.
Any brand or organisation that wants to generate visibility and sales on Amazon (and other marketplaces, like eBay, Etsy and Walmart) now needs:
- A red-hot content strategy for each platform
- A team that can regularly create and update content of a consistently high quality
We’ve described some of the content that mobile shoppers are expecting (demanding, even) above, including product images and video content optimised for mobile use and AR.
For instance, can the user clearly read the label on the product image, so they can see the ingredients and quantity or size? Could you create a great video that shows the product in use? Can you use augmented reality to show the shopper what the sofa, lamp, table or tech you’re selling will look like in their sitting room?
And it’s not just about the flashy or visually arresting stuff. What about your product description, for instance?
- What does the product taste, feel or look like?
- Is there a story behind it?
- Can you inspire the shopper?
- Why should you buy this product, rather than any other?
- Is the description key-word rich (but not over-stuffed)?
Writing product descriptions on Amazon, Etsy or even your own website takes a heck of a lot of skill and experience, so it’s well-worth investing in a copywriter or team with the requisite expertise.
What does your content strategy look like?
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The Search Is On
How discoverable and visible is your business to potential customers?
How is your brand faring in the Google rankings for search terms relevant to your product, service or offering?
Are you outcompeting your competitors in strategically important locations?
OK, so you know about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Of course, you do. It’s been around for, like, ever now.
But some people get the wrong idea about SEO. It’s not the ‘dark art’ that some would have you believe. And it’s not rocket science, either, although it definitely is a science (with a little art mixed in).
SEO and Search are absolutely vital components of any marketing strategy. SEO must be foremost in your mind during any website development, content and even social media activity.
There’s a new trend whereby Google is rewarding brands with much higher search rankings for websites and content that:
- Provide users with answers or useful information highly relevant to the search they’ve put into Google
- Great user experiences (UX) that provide ease-of-use, navigation and fresh SEO-led copywriting, like regular new blogs and landing pages
And Search Isn’t Just About Google
Brands are now investing almost as much in Amazon search as they are Google.
Because shoppers or browsers are now far more likely to start their product searches and research in Amazon than they are Google – representing a considerable shift in shopper behaviour.
- Is your product name and listing easily searchable?
- Will shoppers be able to find your product without typing the exact name of your product in?
- Is your competitor dominating your product category with their all-conquering keyword strategy?
- And how can you knock them off their perch?
And what about Voice Search?
It’s much easier and quicker to search for products with your voice than it is to type, so it’s little wonder that the tech giants are optimising smart speakers for this kind of Search.
Then there’s Search ‘on the move’ wearable tech which allows people to search for and buy products while walking in town or elsewhere – and even via their cars!
The race for highly convenient Search technology that makes it easy to literally shop anywhere, anytime is well-and-truly on.
The Content And Search Agency That’s Constantly Evolving
A rolling stone gathers no moss. Never rest on your laurels. Don’t get stuck in the mud.
All common expressions that nicely sum up our attitude to digital. There are always new trends; and others appearing over the horizon.
If you ignore these trends and developments – and just carry on working in the way that you’ve always done – the likelihood is that you’re going to come badly unstuck.
The world is increasingly digital – and if you want your business to stay ahead of the curve and continue to generate success, you’re going to need an expert digital partner.