Written by Terry Michael on Jan 7, 2021

8 Digital Marketing Trends for 2021!

  1. Inclusivity
  2. No click searches and featured snippets
  3. Sustainability
  4. Image and video SEO for visual searches
  5. Interactive content
  6. Audience centric
  7. Local SEO
  8. Carried over from 2020

1. Inclusivity

Now more than ever brands, online and offline are needing to communicate and accommodate for ALL.

In 2021, ,digital marketing includes media and subject matters that cover a variety of races, sexualities, religions, etc., as well as representation for people with physical disabilities and learning disabilities. This includes and applies to the content for your imagery and videos, but also the topics you discuss in social media and blogs, or even the line of products you offer.

It's important not to isolate anyone and have an honestly inclusive communication strategy and ofc product alignment is key too.

2. Featured snippets & no-click searches

For many, many years, the goal of SEO has been to get your listing in the “position number one” spot of search results. Now, going into 2021, the end-goal is continuing to shift to more SEO visibility in “position zero.” The much-coveted spot that only gets awarded to the most relevant piece according to Google.

Position zero refers to Google’s “featured snippet”, and 2021 SEO marketing trends are prioritizing this above all else. The featured snippet is fundamentally different from other search results entries— it’s separated by a small box and located at the top. More importantly, it also displays extra, relevant information with the attempt at answering the user’s question without them needed to click on it, prompting the nickname “no-click search.” A truly strong goal for 2021!

If you’re going to target a featured snippet yourself, there are a few things you need to know. For starters, featured snippets are mostly deployed using/leveraging long-tail keyword phrases like questions (such as “how to market a website”). They come in different forms, from step-by-step lists to straight-up definitions to even videos (and more), so match your content with the appropriate format - there are many tools out there that can assist with matching this for you and helping you with a gap analysis you can use to identify this content.

In the content itself, make sure you answer the keyword question clearly and succinctly, preferably with bulleted lists or a table structure - just a tip 🙂

3. Sustainability: stand up and stand out!

Just like the trend of inclusivity, people in 2021 are similarly passionate about environmentalism. Just as madame Thrunberg has made very clear, the matter is dire and not going away any time soon - so boast your initiatives to assist this global movement. The modern audience wants to make sure the brands receiving their money are just as concerned for planet earth as they are.

With 81% of consumers strongly feeling companies should help improve the environment according to Neilsons, what we’re seeing is a popularity boost for sustainable and eco-friendly brands, especially for younger consumers. This goes well-beyond the market for green products—every brand can benefit by broadcasting their sustainable practices. These can include recycling, remote offices (reducing travel emissions), CSI initiatives, and more.

4. Video and Image SEO for visual search

We're all using Google for image and video search, but you may not be aware of how popular and how fast using an existing image for a search actually is, or even take original photos and search for context? As more users discover these visual search techniques, it changes the overall landscape of SEO in general.

To capitalize on the increased amount of visual searches, you want to make sure your image and video SEO campaigns are in prime shape. Apply some basics now:

  • Include alt text in your image descriptions (you should have been doing this already)
  • add images to your sitemap or create a dedicated image sitemap (we'd suggest the latter)
  • include your target SEO keywords in the file name of your image (this isn't new)
  • use top-quality images and videos, including HD. HD images are not to be avoided, Google has over the last while explained their new approach to website load times, which surprisingly imagery doesn't play as large a role as we thought.

Moreover, familiarize yourself with Google Lens, especially if you’re an e-commerce brand. Handle your SEO techniques right, and you can take traffic away from competitors when shoppers conduct picture searches for products and barcodes.

5. Interactive content

Here’s a trend that’s technically been around for a while, but it’s just now being included as a best practice mechanism. Interactive content doesn’t just promote more engagement, it also improves the user’s enjoyment.

We saw a sharp rise in this content throughout the COVID period where people needed other's opinions, or simply didn't trust the main-stream media to provide a perspective alone. Interactive content like quizzes, open-ended questions, surveys, contests, giveaways, polls, calculator widgets, etc., can do wonders for your brand. At the very least, they increase the length of time users engage with you, which helps your standing in algorithm-based searches and feeds. But most importantly, people want to be engaged, so interactive content almost always improves your user experience.

6. Audience centric

Another trend that’s not new by any means, and in fact is just climbing in relevance. The idea is simple: instead of a small number of large marketing campaigns targeting general audiences potentially feeling cold/corporate and like you don't understand your client base, it’s better to have a larger number of small marketing campaigns targeting specific audiences - showing you understand their interaction with your brand is different and you know this. People love being treated as unique as they are.

Audience segmentation/centric marketing means grouping your target audience by certain traits or behaviors, such as demographics or shopping habits. This allows you to more accurately tailor your content to suit their preferences; for example, having two separate email lists for big spenders and small spenders, and sending different newsletters to each that feature different products.

Semantics comes in nicely here, and there are many tools and consultants that can you can help you unpack and understand this better.

7. Local SEO

Google frequently updates their local SEO algorithm, so if you’re a local business or operate in various local spots/areas, you should continuously update your business’ appearance in local results too. In many ways, local SEO is even more powerful than broad SEO—people searching for a specific type of business with their geographic location have more intent to purchase, so it’s easier to convert them.

For starters, you have to get verified by Google. You can do this by signing up for Google My Business and either claiming your listing or creating a new one. This helps you rank higher in Google SERPs, and also gives you the chance to offer additional information about your company to online searchers.

UpBeet Digital offers a full localised SEO solution for ALL local and international businesses.

8. Carried over from 2020

2020 saw some incredible trends becoming entrenched, and there's no reason to ignore them now, in fact they may be more relevant.

  • Shoppable Posts: social media posts that directly connect users to product checkout increase conversions by streamlining the payment process. See if you’re eligible for Checkout on Instagram for example.
  • Gen Z Marketing: last year saw the eldest of Gen Z turning 18 and entering the workforce. If you want to access this young market, first understand the best practices for marketing to Gen Z.
  • Microinfluencers: as opposed to premier influencers, microinfluencers are more like average people who have a larger-than-average social media follower. If you attract enough of them, through social media competitions/challenges and giveaways, you can achieve the same numbers as top-level influencers at a fraction of the cost and effort. This is another area relevancy is key!
  • Voice Search SEO: since voice assistants first hit market a few years ago, voice searches have been upending traditional SEO tactics—people don’t use the same keywords when they talk as when they type! Deploying a semantic strategy is a strong approach and solution.

Make 2021 better than 2020, it's coming with old weight from the year we'll refer to collectively as the year we wish to forget, but we can take the immense learnings and leverage these throughout business and to best align with our consumers and company's goals.

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