Technology and the advent of the internet have changed modern marketing—and it continues to evolve every day. In recent years, we've seen the rise of data analytics, the dominance of video content, the shift towards cloud-based platforms, and so many more innovations. While such advancements may have been formerly reserved for fancy tech companies and corporations, the pandemic has proved that all businesses of all sizes can no longer ignore digitisation. True enough, a report from Twilio found that 97% of enterprises claim that COVID has boosted their digital transformation efforts. To help you keep up, we've put together some digital trends that will define 2021 and beyond — whether you run a multi-national brand or a small business.
In an over-saturated market filled with content and information, it has become harder to engage consumers. As a result, brands are rising to the challenge of creating more interactive content. Killer Visual Strategies CEO Amy Balliett reveals that 81% of marketers believe interactive content is more effective in grabbing audiences' attention, compared to more traditional content like static images. So, it would be wise to start exploring more creative strategies, such as 360° videos, interactive polls and surveys, online quizzes, and even webinars. Depending on the product and services you offer, there are quite a few ways you can go about doing this. You can try creating personality quizzes linked to your product or service, as it's a great way to engage your consumers while associating the content with your product.
Image and Video SEO
SEO is vital to growing your audience, as it helps boost the ranking of your site on Google. SEO is indeed one of the most effective ways to drive traffic—as proven by some of the world's biggest brands adopting this particular marketing strategy. From Verizon and eBay, to Condé Nast and British Airways, brands across various industries are using SEO to expand and target new markets. More than just hitting the right keywords for blog posts, image and video SEO has become even more important with the rise of visual search techniques. You can start by including alt texts in your image descriptions and ensuring you have the best quality for visuals to keep them on par with Google best practices. You'll also want to make sure that you're using high-quality images, as these can elevate your online page's appeal from an optimisation standpoint. However, you'll also need to make sure that the image file size isn't too big as it could lead to your pages loading slower. This is important, as your page's load speed affects how users interact with your website and how high your website ranks on search engines too.
Generic marketing strategies are becoming less effective as audiences look for personalised content. A consumer survey featured on The Drum found that 71% of respondents expressed dismay over impersonal and poorly targeted campaigns. Customer segmentation is a great way to address this issue. How it works is companies leverage data on their customers' online behaviour and demographics to create content that caters to their preferences. A common example of this is sending newsletters that inform certain segments of a company's product or service roster, based on their own interests. A great way to keep track of your segmentation efforts is through the use of email marketing software. You can then use the data you've collected alongside the email marketing software to send out specific messages or promos to different members of your customer base according to their interests.
Gone are the days when businesses could get away with robotic brand voices. Nowadays, brands are adopting more conversational styles of communication, in an attempt to be more relatable and approachable to consumers—and this strategy is proving to be incredibly effective. As Media.net Product Manager Akram Tariq Khan shares, conversational and more personal commerce leads to more sales. This is because making use of everyday language tends to resonate more. An added benefit to this is that the content also becomes more optimised for voice searches. This is significant, as more people are utilising voice search functions online. In fact, 58% of consumers in the US already make use of voice search to find local businesses. Given that you'll want to adopt a more conversational tone, there isn't just one right way to do this. However, remember to keep the tone of your messaging consistent with your brand. The last thing you want is to come off as inauthentic by mimicking the tone of popular brands in hopes of growing your customer base even though it doesn't align with your own company.
Micro Influencer Marketing
It's safe to say that influencer marketing is here to stay. While it may have seemed like a passing fad when it first started out, Business Insider estimates that brands will spend upwards of $15 billion (20 billion AUD) in influencer marketing by the year 2022—but not just on mega-celebrities like the Kardashians. Based on a survey on Chief Marketer, 72% of consumers prefer micro-influencers. Despite their smaller followings, these content creators tend to be more connected to their audiences—thus making for more meaningful connections and higher chances of customer conversion. To make this even more effective, be sure to work with micro-influencers who are aligned with the type of product or services you provide. It wouldn't make sense to partner up with a fashion micro-influencer if the type of products and services you offer have nothing to do with the fashion industry. It's an exciting year for marketers and digital enthusiasts. If you're looking for more marketing tips, head over to our blog on The Change Starter!
By Trina Clarke Written for thechangestarter.com