In the year 2020, digital marketing has been changing along with the rest of the world. With people stuck at home due to lockdowns for much of the year, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to be on top of their digital marketing efforts.
That’s why you need to be aware of the latest trends and innovations in digital marketing to get an edge over your competition. Every year, there are always new trends popping up due to how people’s online habits tend to change with every new thing that becomes popular.
The new year will most likely be no different. Here are the digital marketing trends you need to focus on to take your business to the next level in 2021.
Digital Marketing Trends
Chatbots are the best way to automate your customer service. Three quarters of customers prefer text or chat with businesses, which now have chatbots to handle common inquiries and support tickets. Chatbots never sleep, respond instantly, and cost little to nothing to implement.
That’s why 80% of businesses are considering chatbots as a part of their strategy. Customer service is a big part of marketing your business as you gain a reputation for being good to your customers, which then lets you grow a loyal customer base.
Chatbots make chat marketing possible. Just think of it as similar to email marketing, but it’s in chat. The chat inbox is now the most intimate place on the Internet for most people, so getting right in there can make your marketing more personal and direct. However, messages get 98% open rates, which is much higher compared to email.
More people are using voice search on their mobile devices to look for what they need, so the game is now about voice search engine optimization, or VSEO. Around 48% of consumers in 2019 used voice search for general needs. With constant improvements in voice recognition and AI, it’s only a matter of time until voice becomes the preferred way to do web searches.
Video marketing is now an essential part of digital marketing, not just optional. Almost 80% of customers watch videos to inform their online purchasing decisions, while 70% of them go on to share those videos on social media. Creating video content for your business can either be uploaded or streamed. In 2020, 92% of marketers cite video as a significant part of their marketing strategy.
In 2020, 86% of US digital ads are programmatic advertising. It’s what happens when PPC and AI meet, and it makes for amazing results. Over 62% of marketers now use programmatic advertising to achieve their goals, and that number is growing. Automation has made advertising faster and more efficient, greatly lowering customer acquisition costs.
Creating a Digital Marketing Plan
Define Your Brand
The very first step is to define who you are as a business. You have to figure out what your brand represents, based on what’s unique about your business and who you’re selling to. Come up with your unique selling points (USPs) that set you apart from your competition.
Create Buyer Personas
The next step is to define who your target customer is. You can do this by creating buyer personas based on your research into who your customers are. Collect information on your customers like their age, gender, location, income, job title, common hobbies and interests, and goals. That should give you a better idea of what kind of people your customers tend to be.
Soon enough, you’ll be able to see common patterns and realize that you can market based on those commonalities.
Set Your Goals
Once you know who you are and who your customer is, you must then set your target goals. Your goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely—SMART. Don’t just come up with vague goals like getting more followers, but give a definite number like 1000 new followers on Facebook in a month.
Such short-term goals should then lead to long-term goals within a larger time frame, then track your progress along the way to know if you’ll be able to achieve it within that time. You can then adjust your campaign according to your progress so far.
Choose Your Channels
You now have your goals, so it’s time to figure out how you achieve them. While you can go hog wild and market in every single channel you can find, that will cost a lot more money and take a lot more time and effort to do.
Therefore, you want to limit your choices to the digital marketing channels that are most feasible for your business, whether it’s SEO, PPC, content, email, social media, influencer marketing, or so on. You should study where your target audience spends most of their time, then focus your marketing in those places.
Set Your Budget
You should know how much you’re going to spend on your digital marketing before you get started. After all, you don’t want to have to put on the brakes on your marketing because you just realized that you’re hemorrhaging money because of it.
Having a budget also lets you set your expectations right. You want to maximize every dollar you spend on your marketing by acquiring as many customers as you possibly can for the least amount of money. With that said, you get what you pay for. A $500 campaign likely won’t perform the same as a $1000 campaign.
Measure Your Results
You only know if your strategy is working if you can see the results. Tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs) should give you a good idea of how much progress you’re making with your digital marketing plan. If you’re not hitting your targets on time, you may have to readjust or restructure your marketing campaign to get better results.
When to Hire a Digital Marketing Agency
The deciding factor to hiring a digital marketing agency is if your business has hit a plateau in growth and is having a hard time getting any more traction, no matter how hard you try. Some people may just leave it at that, having arrived at a comfortable peak that lets them earn enough money to be content.
However, for those who are yearning for more growth and would like to break through the glass ceiling, they can hire a digital marketing agency to help them get to the next level. You hire a digital marketing agency to take over the reins of your marketing and let them assess and deconstruct your business and where it stands in the online space.
Since all they do every single day is digital marketing, they would be more in-tune with what works best in digital marketing. While you do spend more money to bring them in, you should be able to get your money’s worth and more if you hire a good digital marketing agency like Grand Prairie to bring in an even bigger audience.