The impact of COVID-19 has certainly forged a newer fashion of operating a business. Suffice to say, it has forced a change into how we make decisions, communicate with our audiences, and even how we now manage business meetings.
Whether you’re a restaurant business, a lifestyle magazine, or a hand-crafted products retailer on Etsy, staying competitive in 2021 is going to be of utmost importance to survive the upcoming effects of 2020.
So, what’s new in marketing trends? Keep reading to find out the most important trends that businesses of all sizes are implementing to stay ahead of their competition!
First thing’s first—have a complete online footprintWe need to make sure your business has a complete online presence. It is the most important change businesses have needed to deal with. Having only social media platforms to engage with your audience may not be enough, especially when there are multiple tools online (newer and older) to help you manage, organize, and even grow. Here are some ideas to start expanding your online footprint:
A Responsive Website DesignIt’s important to accommodate any device a customer may be accessing your website from so your brand looks cohesive and consistent. Online tools like Wix and Squarespace already allow this, and if you have a separate web development team, it’s time to make that request!
Get on Google!Let’s face it. For anything that needs to be found, Google is usually the best bet. Google My Business will help you be more discoverable online, especially on Google Maps. Once an account is created, it will let you accomplish multiple things for your business, such as managing bookings, creating a product catalog, posting ads, managing reviews, and analyzing insights!
Social MediaIt’s important to keep in touch with the people who use your products or services and keep them updated with what’s going on. Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok will be the best bet to engage with your audience. Every business varies, however, and if you are a corporate office, Twitter will be a better choice for you to keep your stakeholders updated.
Another social media platform to consider is Reddit – this platform is a 9GAG style user-generated social media platform where users are generally quite open about sharing opinions about topics relevant to the groups they are signed up to, and the platform has all sorts of groups you can imagine! All of these social media platforms currently have Facebook-like paid-advertising opportunities so you can hyper-target your advertisements to users that best fit your target audience gained through marketing research.
Get all of the above Search Engine Optimized (SEO)You’d want to be on the top of the list whenever someone performs a search. This means using keywords that search engines look for to find and display your content online. The better the SEO, the higher up you or your content will be on people’s search results.
Top 5 Marketing Trends in 2021
1. Collaborate with people who believe (and we mean REALLY believe) in you
Influencers have taken social media marketing to a newer level. However, while they have managed to catch the attention of multi-million-dollar companies, the concept of collaborating with people can give you a spokesperson out in the field. The key is to pick someone (or a group) who uses your product or services with passion, whether they are well-known or not.
While it may sound as easy as picking a highly active personality on social media from your audience, there are some key points you may want to consider before doing so. The people you collaborate with will, in other words, become your brand ambassadors, except, for a shorter time (unless you choose to continue of course). Remembering to ask questions like “Does this person believe in what I stand for?”, “Are they likable amongst their own follower bases?”, “Are there any risks involved for my brand image with this person?” can help you get started in narrowing down your options.
2. Catering to the younger audience
The topic of influencers naturally brings us to Gen Z. Year 2021 will have five years’ worth of a younger, fresh audience you will be able to be advertised to, and we mean that legally. Depending on the products or services you are selling, begin to plan about how you can extend your brand, product, or service to a younger audience who, upon winning the hearts of, could become your loyal customers for at least a decade to come.
There are multiple advantages to a business of having a younger customer base, like:
- It helps you keep up with trends
- Keeps your business fresh and relevant
- If they like your content, they will share it, increasing your visibility
Having said that, please be wary that if your unique selling point is within a brand identity that does not engage or amuse the younger audience, you would require a rebrand.
A simple solution could be to introduce a newer product (or a service) that is specifically branded to catch the attention of younger people, amongst your original products (even a student discount would do!). This will allow you to create a newer social media footprint for that particular audience who will only grow. A redesigned packaging also helps!
On the other hand, if you are finding yourself due a rebrand anyway, having a younger audience in your plan will be beneficial.
3. Exceptional Customer Service
This is where companies can have an edge over the competition. Customer service has always been an affair of a post-sale opportunity. Have you ever gotten a free exchange on a no-questions-asked policy, or a free repair on an expensive tech product even? If not, we highly recommend giving it a try and feeling what it’s like. It’s an injection of positivity!
The push to keep customers within the reach of a brand has significantly improved the quality of customer satisfaction. With no doubt, you also should spare no expenses when it comes to giving your customers a positive outlook on your brand. This is ‘the’ opportunity to get returning customers, and fear not, it can also be the most cost-effective way (depending on the size of your business of course).
Jack Ma, founder of a multi-billion-dollar e-commerce business Alibaba, stresses that a complaint is an opportunity – solving it with the least resistance to the customer not only fulfills their wishes but implementing the solution into your business model also improves the quality of your operations.
Some helpful ways to get started are:
- Go through comments on social media
- Conduct focus groups
- Send occasional surveys
- Have a rating system
4. Subscription services
Okay, this business model is really, really booming. It’s basically the same concept of your Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime subscription applied to a different business category. This is a great way to keep a hold of customers and have higher chances to convert them into loyal ones.
You’d be surprised how many businesses have applied this concept to different kinds of products – Winc delivers wines to your doorsteps every month, and they’ll even quiz you to recommend the best wine for you! Dollar Shave Club is another popular example of a men’s grooming subscription box. Amazon has also recently implemented subscription items that help you save on items you wish to purchase regularly, and also gives you the option to customize how often – every month, two months, or even three!
How will this work? If you have a product or service that people tend to purchase quite often, asking them a monthly fee in return for a monthly supply will do the trick. This way, they will never have to worry about running out.
If you are a small business and are worried about keeping track and managing deliveries, do not worry. While the bigger companies may invest in technologies and/or systems, keeping a record wherever you are comfortable with (Microsoft Excel, or even personal notes!) and setting up timely reminders to help you deliver will do.
5. Cashless payments
Phones have gradually become very powerful devices, and payment technology has come a long way. Accepting online payments is a huge plus if you are looking to tech out your business. The change has brought convenience, one that has seen people carrying lesser and lesser cash every day.
Implementing this change will not only help your business carry out seamless and quicker transactions, but it will also create a better impression for your brand. Small businesses like tattoo shops and salons have also begun accepting payments via Cashapp or Venmo to make it as contactless as possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Companies like Square and Stripe provide the necessary infrastructure to start accepting online payments easily if you are a retail business. Moreover, Facebook is working tirelessly to roll out Facebook Pay in as many countries as they can – they also plan to implement it on Whatsapp and Whatsapp Business so users can conduct payments directly through the app. Popular mobile apps like Venmo and Cashapp are also widely used.
Do note, however, that transaction or banking fees may vary from bank to bank. It will be best to contact your bank to gather concrete information. The last thing you’d want is to lose money on the fees and taxes your bank will charge.
Here are some other digital marketing tips you that shouldn’t be ignored:
• Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is a one-to-one, real-time connection between companies and its customers. With all the talk about chatbots, the reality of modern marketing is self-explanatory: it must be more conversational. People want it that way and brands are responding. When consumers have a question, 82% want an “immediate” response.
If you want to stand out in 2021, you need to personalize your marketing – and that means personalized content, products, emails and more. The more ways you can touch your audience and in various places according to the topics they are interested in, the higher your chances of converting them into a potential lead.
A micro-moment is an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need to know, go, do, or buy. The growing popularity of micro-moments means that marketers are rethinking the linear marketing funnel that follows a set path: awareness, consideration, and decision. What’s true for micro-moments however, is that the necessity is more immediate, which is where constant research is absolutely necessary.
• Social Media Stories
The benefits of using social media stories include amplified brand awareness, constant engagement and reengagement with followers, cost-effectiveness, higher traffic to your web page, and the opportunity to reach a larger, younger audience.
• Browser Push Notifications
As part of the bid to engage users on multiple channels, browser push notifications are something you will see more and more brands adopting in 2021 – and they are getting more sophisticated and personalized. Using personalized push notifications increases conversions drastically. It’s a great chance to push sales and promotional items on your online shopping platform.
• SEO A/B Split Testing
Modern marketing is all about testing and analysis. By using A/B split-testing, you can separate variables in your campaign and easily identify which of them are driving the results you need. This form of testing offers marketers a methodical approach to making effective changes to their content. By removing or replacing content or variables that do not work with ones that do, or rather allocating more resources to the ones that to will yield bigger results.
• Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing is the process of marketing across multiple platforms (such as social media, email, blogs, apps, etc.) to connect with prospects on more than one touchpoints. When you do omnichannel marketing right, you can offer an enhanced user experience and cohesive brand message that drives people to action using a funnel system.
For anyone in digital marketing, change is an integral part of the job. You must keep looking ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools, and strategies in order to gain an edge over your competitors.
We hope this will help you go into 2021 will full confidence. Keeping up with technology and trends is going to be especially important.
Check out Heyday Marketing’s blog, a digital marketing agency in Miami, for more helpful marketing tips, visit our website for more information on our web design and digital marketing services. Do contact us for more marketing opportunities if you are looking for a digital marketing agency in Miami.