Digital marketing strategies are always changing. Every year, we get to identify emerging trends based on user preferences. It’s safe to say that what worked two years ago is no longer valid, given how the economy, business landscape, customer needs, and even social norms have changed.
With that said, let’s take a look at these strategies you’d want to incorporate into your digital marketing plan in 2021:
1. The AIDA Formula
AIDA is a model utilized in marketing and advertising. The acronym stands for Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. A concept developed in 1898, AIDA covers the series of stages or steps that customers go through to arrive at a purchasing decision. In detail, they are as follows:
- Awareness: In this stage, you make customers aware of your brand, products, and services that you’re offering. Simply put, you’re letting people know that you have a potential solution to their problem. Awareness usually comes from advertising.
- Interest: General interest grows as prospective clients learn more about your product, including the benefits of using it and how the product fits within your current lifestyle. To make the most of this stage, ensure that information about your company is accessible to the customers you’re eyeing at all times.
- Decision: After being aware and developing an interest, potential clients then build a connection with your product. Upon reaching this stage, they would’ve moved on from wanting your product to needing it.
- Action: Finally, customers decide to interact with you about your product or service. They’d either subscribe to your online mailing list, create an account on your website, subscribe to a trial version, or make a purchase from you.
You might be wondering if this 120-year old marketing strategy is still relevant today. Yes, it still works. In fact, AIDA is applicable on almost all marketing channels if you want to grab your reader’s attention and create a sense of want in the process of presenting a solution to their problem. Digital marketers use this concept extensively for water damage marketing. Since this service is often less in demand than other home services, it would be more challenging to draw individuals into the sales funnel because it is an as-needed service.
In the year ahead, you’d want to take advantage of this proven formula as part of your digital marketing strategy.
2. Video Marketing
A recent study by Cisco shows that videos will account for 82% of consumer traffic online this year. Further, 99% of video marketers say they intend to continue using video in the future as expenditure on digital video ads will breach the $12 billion mark by 2024. These figures tell us how video has become such a driving force for digital marketing — a trend that will remain in the coming years. People’s attention span is getting shorter by the day, and it would often take a lot of effort to get someone to stay on a website for longer than five minutes. That is why videos with a very catchy introduction have been getting much traction. They compel people to stay and watch until the end.
What’s great about integrating video, live video in particular, in your marketing strategy is that it’s interactive, thus promoting engagement from your audience. Customers have various options to participate. They can either call in or post a question for you to answer during the live session.
At present, branded and live videos are the most popular video marketing trends. Both are great ideas to incorporate in your digital marketing efforts as you continue to find fresh and exciting ways to keep your audience engaged. Product launches and other significant company events are ideal for displaying on live feeds. More significantly, sending out invitations ahead of time with a little incentive for people, such as prizes or coupons, would be an excellent approach to convince people to participate.
3. Smart SEO
While the SEO landscape is looking very different than it did a few years back, it doesn’t mean that it’s any less important, or worse, dead. If anything, SEO is more important than ever if you’re after getting your website indexed on major search engines, especially Google.
One thing’s for sure, trends concerning SEO continue to change over time, and the most significant challenge that these updates pose is knowing which of them are worth spending time on.
For instance, one area that Google focuses on is setting apart keyword search from search intent. If you perform a search using terms such as “West Palm Beach Web Design,” you’d get results showing web design companies instead of “web design company in Florida,” which is likely to display job boards.
Does improving your current SEO techniques impact your SEO marketing as a whole? It signifies the need for you to segment queries that you want to rank for, and equally important, double your efforts when doing a competitor analysis.
Perhaps the easiest to remember, yet most often neglected advice, is to keep your marketing plan simple. It’s best to stick with the strategies that are tried and tested in achieving the desired results for your business.
Since none of the existing formulas are written in stone, you can refer to the said strategies to know what to tweak and improve to gain maximum ROI.
4. Mobile-friendly Site
With 3.5 billion users of mobile devices worldwide, having a mobile-friendly website is among the things you can’t afford to neglect in 2021. Whether you own an eCommerce store or rely on web traffic to grow brand awareness, understanding how consumers use mobile devices is a must. That’s why you’ll need to evaluate your site and make it mobile-friendly if you haven’t already.
A mobile-friendly site reformats its content to show neatly on mobile devices. This way, you can make the most out of every conversion opportunity, with site visitors spending more time clicking and buying instead of sighing and complaining.
Still not convinced? How about losing one in every two prospective clients that visit your site? According to a Google research about mobile brand experiences, over 60% of users won’t be inclined to purchase from you again because of a bad mobile experience.
5. Optimize Your Email Campaigns
Email is another marketing tool that has been around for years. Like SEO, it’s not going anywhere just yet, maybe ever. In the past year, 78% of marketers reported an increase in their sales operation and email engagement. This figure doesn’t come as a surprise, given that there are 3.9 billion users who send and receive emails daily.
If you’re into data, these email marketing statistics for 2020 may aptly demonstrate how powerful email can be:
- 80% of business professionals attest that email marketing increases customer retention. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new clients than major social media sites.
- 73% of millennials prefer businesses to reach them via email.
- 59% of respondents attribute marketing emails as a primary influencer when making purchase decisions.
- According to Campaign Monitor, segmenting email campaigns, one of the easiest forms of email marketing, increases revenue by a whopping 760%.
While these are all game-changing figures, they all boil down to how well you’re able to craft your message. More times than not, a concise copy with a more compelling message will help you retain existing clients and win new ones to shore up your business. Email marketing software tools make it simple to keep track of email campaigns with a high open-rate and could lead to increased sales through the distribution of vouchers. This is crucial because you don’t want to spend so much time on trial and error on something that does not work for your business. Consequently, it merely signifies that you’re not sending the right message to your demographics, so you must implement another strategy. Also, you may be sending your email blast to your target customer at an inappropriate time of day.
Not too long ago, companies produced marketing content for mass consumption. While they’re easy to make and affordable enough to reach millions of audiences, the message lacks a fundamental element — personal touch. Imagine your potential clients, existing customers, and those who haven’t heard about your product receiving the same message.
Thankfully, businesses and companies now realize that personalization is an integral part of their digital marketing strategy.
With email marketing, for instance, personalized messages generate six times higher transaction rates than generic ones. This strategy involves the use of your customer’s name or sending deals that match their location. Further, it’s best to use conversational tones as consumers are more likely to respond to messages crafted by humans than some faceless corporate spiel.
In line with segmentation, you’ll need to develop an efficient way to classify your customers according to specific information, such as demographics, browsing activity, purchase history, etc. Doing this will help your clients tell your business apart while creating an enjoyable and unique experience for them.
Still not convinced? Personalization is one of the cheapest digital marketing strategies to put into motion. Since it requires little to no monetary commitment, what is there for you to lose?
7. Length Matters
Short and sweet don’t apply to everything, and yes, length matters, at least when it comes to content you post on your site.
Like bloggers and content marketers, you might be wondering what’s the ideal word count to shoot for and if it’s better to stick with concise pieces rather than long-form ones.
Before bothering yourself with numbers, the first thing you need to do is make sure your content is good. Keep in mind that word count isn’t a ranking factor in itself. In fact, it only has merit if the quality of your posts is outstanding.
A few years back, the average online post was usually within the range of 500 to 800 words. Until such time, long-form content became the norm due to the number of social shares that it garners. As of 2016, the average word count of a Google first page result was 1890 words.
Currently, the word count of top-ranked content on Google is between 1,140 – 1, 285 words. It’s not as long as before but still long enough for you to cover a specific topic in-depth. Simply put, this is the number of words you’d want to reach to create a perception of higher quality. To ensure your content doesn’t fall short, aiming for a length of 1,200 words is ideal.
Then again, quality remains paramount, not word count alone.
8. Leverage AI-powered tools
AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT, Chatsonic, or LaMDA can significantly help you in productivity by automating repetitive tasks and providing insights that would otherwise be difficult or time-consuming to obtain. For example, ChatGPT can be used to generate high-quality content for social media in a fraction of the time it would take for a human to do so. This can free you up to focus on more strategic activities such as audience research and campaign planning. Additionally, ChatGPT can be integrated into social media management tools to assist with scheduling, monitoring, and analyzing social media data. This allows you to quickly identify patterns and trends in their audience engagement and adjust their strategies accordingly. Overall, using AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT can help you to be more efficient, effective, and productive in your daily job.
Research Your Competitors
Knowing who your competitors are and the products and services they offer allows you to develop a sound marketing strategy and products & services that stand out.
In particular, the marketing strategies you’ll create can take advantage of your competitor’s weaknesses and perk up your business performance. Further, you can also assess threats that current competitors and new players in your market pose.
This knowledge will provide you a competitive edge and give you a realistic projection about how successful your business can be.
Performing competitor research will enable you to do the following:
- Make your brand stand out.
- Identify new and existing opportunities.
- Be aware of potential threats.
- Have the ability to forecast trends.
- Push your brand’s unique benefits.
- Make smart innovations.
- Learn from your competitors.
Flexibility is one thing that gymnasts and your digital marketing strategies should have in common. You must be aware by now that consumer preferences and technology hardly ever stay the same for too long. They always change and evolve into something else.
To stay afloat and ahead of the competition, your business needs to keep up, whether it’s preparing for any shift in your audience’s preferences or producing fresh and relevant content.
You should learn to adapt to every situation, regardless of age or any other factor you might be dealing with. For example, if your target audience is between 15-21 years old, you may want to advertise on platforms they use, such as TikTok or Snapchat. Meanwhile, if you’re catering to business professionals, they are more likely to respond to LinkedIn ads.
To ensure your digital marketing efforts won’t go to waste, you should invest both time and effort in getting to know your audience better. Market research pays dividends.
Fixed formulae for digital marketing don’t exist. To be successful, you need to stay on your toes and learn to change, adapt, and improve at a minute’s notice. The last thing you want to do is settle in your existing marketing strategies longer than you should.
While you may have come across tried and tested methods over the years, there’s always room for better. Take the time to review the strategies you have in place, don’t be afraid to reinvent, and when necessary, replace the old with the new.