The entire marketing industry was forced to make a huge shift when the coronavirus pandemic changed how consumers shop. Companies, both B2C and B2B, needed to quickly implement innovative marketing initiatives in order to retain their customers while accommodating sudden governmental mandates.
Consumers had new habits, and businesses that didn’t develop new marketing strategies took a big financial hit throughout 2020.
The timeless adage holds true–necessity is the mother of all invention–and the digital marketing sector certainly birthed a wealth of inventions that companies could use to survive. These innovations evolved swiftly and not all of them worked. But those that did, thanks to advances in marketing technologies, were tested and thoroughly vetted during 2020.
Marketers now have a fresh arsenal of digital marketing tools to use in 2021. Here is a list of all of the tried-and-true marketing strategies that resulted from the most tumultuous year in modern history. These marketing trends are here to stay, which is why you should implement them at your company as part of your digital marketing strategy.
Considered the best location-based marketing strategy for online marketers, Google My Business, or GMB, has been around for a few years now, but it has dramatically evolved over the course of 2020. If you’re unfamiliar, GMB is an online directory that provides Google users with a map of relevant businesses whenever they search locally. Since 46% of all Google searches are for the purposes of finding local businesses there is no downside to creating a GMB profile, especially because having one is completely free. For more on GMB, check out Making The Most Out Of Google My Business.
The number one reason that consumers abandoned certain brands, retailers, and businesses throughout 2020 was because of product availability, or rather, the lack of available products at a particular store. In other words, retaining customers boiled down to keeping shelves stocked, and more importantly, keeping customers informed about product availability, online order turn-around times, and how long it would take a retailer to replenish popular items. Communication goes a long way with today’s consumers, and retailers will have a better shot maintaining customer loyalty if they inform their customers of fluctuations in product availability.
Google Ad’s automatic bidding feature has been around since 2016. However, this automated advertising method gained real traction in 2020 when businesses had to downsize and modify their operations due to COVID-19 shutdowns in certain industries, especially the retail and service industries. Google’s auto bidding allows Google, rather than the marketer, to assess your ad campaigns for you and adjust your bids accordingly in real-time. By permitting Google’s A.I. to handle these adjustments, the marketer is freed up to optimize other aspects of their PPC campaigns’ performances. The ultimate outcome is that companies will end up spending less for their targeted advertising campaigns.
Shocking as it may seem, Google’s algorithms cannot yet pick up voice search SEO. But that doesn’t mean that marketers and business owners should hold off on implementing voice search as part of their overall digital marketing strategy. There has been a steady rise in Google users opting to speak, rather than type, their searches into Google. A whopping 45% of consumers have used a voice assistant on a smart speaker, whether using Alexa at home or their smartphone while out-and-about. Simply put, if there is an increasing number of consumers using this feature, then marketers should cater to that demographic.
When interactive content is offered on business websites and ECommerce stores, visitor engagement dramatically increases, which leads to rises in brand awareness and sales. Interactive website content includes dynamic product images, short videos, active blogs with an open comments section below each article, and the list goes on. What 2020 showed marketers was that static, text-heavy online content no longer holds web visitors’ attention. But when that same text content is broken up with graphics, GIFs, memes, info-tisements, and graphs, visitor engagement shoots through the roof. One of the heaviest hitters among all interactive content is the blog. By adding a blog to your website or ECommerce store, you will easily drive traffic to your website. For specific pointers, take a moment to read Creating A Remarkable Business Blog.
In recent years, “chatbots” have become a buzzword in the digital marketing community. Despite the fact that chatbots have technically been around longer than P.C.s, their current level of artificial intelligence far outshines what it used to be, and their modern-day capabilities put their former ones to shame. If your website or ECommerce store does not have a chatbot, you should seriously consider adding one. The A.I. that the average chatbot possesses in 2021 has been optimized for functionality, and can handle evolved levels of responsibility, from engaging in simple conversations to recommending products to completing complex transactions.
Does that conclude all of the marketing trends you can expect in 2021? Not at all! We’ve only scratched the surface, which is why we invite you to subscribe to our blog. We publish weekly articles on helpful topics such as Marketing Tricks That Can Help You Go Viral and Social Media Marketing Strategies.
All business brands, whether B2C or B2B, must implement a solid digital marketing strategy in 2021, and you can’t go wrong if your company’s strategy includes the forward-thinking trends we laid out in this article. But that doesn’t mean you should stop researching newly emerging trends.
Businesses that remain on the lookout for the next big marketing tools keep themselves ahead of the technology curve and a cut above their competition. Digital marketing is a constantly developing industry, which means that business owners should stay in the know, research new technologies, watch trends, and launch marketing initiatives that have been proven to work.
But don’t get intimidated if you aren’t tech savvy. You can always hire FTx 360 to manage your digital marketing. Our full suite of marketing solutions includes all of the creative services you will need to launch effective digital marketing campaigns that drive website traffic, increase revenue, and expand your brand’s digital footprint online.
The marketing strategists at FTx 360 have experience working with businesses of every industry. To discover all that our agency can do for you, check out our digital portfolio or contact us today.
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Does your company have a Google My Business page? Google My Business, or GMB for short, offers businesses a wonderful opportunity to rank on Google’s search results. When you create a GMB listing, your business and its location will appear on Google Maps, which means that anyone who is using Google to find a company like yours will see your business’ page. And the best part about GMB is that it’s completely free!
Setting up a GMB listing for your company is fast and easy, and once your listing is live, Google’s geographically specific algorithms will start recommending your business in location-based search results. Even if Google makes regular changes to its algorithmic rules, those changes won’t affect or exclude your listing when users search for businesses like yours in a specific city, town, or region.
One of the greatest benefits about GMB is that the content of your business’ page will grow. While your primary business information will remain the same for the most part, such as the address, phone number, hours of operation, and a link to your website, your page will expand as customers leave Google reviews for your business.
What this means is that in order to truly optimize your GMB listing, you will have to manage it by soliciting customer reviews and responding to them whether the review is positive or negative. You will also have to post business updates, adjust the listed hours of operation when necessary, and keep up with other maintenance as needed.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through the basics of establishing a GMB listing, as well as offer the best tips to help you get the most out of your presence on Google.
When you begin this process, following the steps below, don’t be alarmed if you discover your business is already listed on GMB. Oftentimes, this is the case and the business owner only needs to claim the preexisting listing.
Once you’ve completed the verification process, you’ll be able to beef up your listing with even more attractive information, starting with your business’ description and including photos and videos of your location, products, services, happy customers, and anything else you’d like to show visually.
Since this description appears when Google users search for businesses like yours, make every word count. You only have 750 characters to make a strong impression.
In addition to regularly uploading photos and videos as a way to optimize your GMB listing, it’s important to collect customer reviews so that your GMB page is always growing, staying fresh, and ranking high on Google’s search results. And when you have a new review, be sure to reply. It lets other Google users know that you’re involved in the customer service and customer satisfaction areas of your business.
GMB provides the following benefits to companies that create, maintain, and manage their business listings:
Want a digital marketing and SEO strategist to handle your GMB listing? FTx 360 offers a full suite of marketing solutions at affordable prices. Whether you’re interested in our consulting services or hiring us to manage all of your marketing needs, our team of experts can help your business grow. Contact us to learn more about our content marketing, social media marketing, and SEO marketing services.
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Back in the early 2000s, social media platforms began to emerge. The impetus of their creation was to enhance personal communication within social circles. Sites like Friendster, MySpace, and heck, even 1997’s premier social platform Six Degrees were all launched with the personal user in mind. No one was thinking “business” when these social media sites came to market. No one was even thinking “advertisement revenue”.
Fast-forward twenty years, and social media platforms have gone far beyond merely providing a means of online social connection. These sites have become one of the primary marketing strategies among businesses both large and small. All the while, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn have managed to retain their original purpose of providing the average user the best way to personally communicate and stay intimately connected to their online social circles.
Social media marketing for businesses isn’t merely a passing trend, either. This form of marketing is so advantageous that it’s undoubtedly here to stay. Why? The potential for collecting user data that can be successfully leveraged in future advertising campaigns is exponential.
Thanks to machine-learning A.I. and other technologies that have been built into the back-end of these platforms for the purposes of collecting such user data, there are many benefits to launching social media marketing campaigns as part of your overall advertising strategy if you’re looking to connect with prospective customers.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at how you can use social media to build your brand’s online presence and ultimately grow your business. But first, we strongly recommend that you pick one social media platform to focus your marketing efforts on. Yes, just one! Too often, business owners who are new to social media marketing spread themselves thin by attempting to manage many different sites at once. Instead, pick only one of the following platforms to pour your marketing strategies into!
Social media content planning involves deciding where, when, and how often you will deliver a branded message to a targeted audience. You want to reach the highest number of ideal customers with the right message. The trick is exposing your content to your audience on social media only as often as necessary to get the desired effect of brand awareness, leads, website traffic, sales, or another business goal.
Elaborating on the previous tip, your social media content will be memorable if you share your posts at the “right” frequency. But regularly posting once a day or once every six hours will be up to your targeted audience and their threshold of what they want and what kinds of posts they’re interested in interacting with. The trick is to post consistently, so if you find that posting once a day, for example, provokes the most interaction, then be sure to consistently keep up that posting frequency. This is the first step to becoming memorable.
The second step to becoming memorable in the minds of your audience is to present a consistent brand image with all of your social media posts. This could be as simple as including your branded logo in the corner of each post. If your brand has a signature font and precise color scheme, be sure to use that in all of your content, too. Your company’s core identity and the “story” behind your brand should stay consistent.
Assuming you’re focusing your social media marketing efforts on the platform that best suits your business’s needs, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll build up a loyal following. Social media, no matter which platform you’re active on, is a great way to share other digital content, such as your website, e-commerce site, and blog. You can post links to all of your new content so that your followers, as well as other social media users, can easily find information about your company’s latest offerings.
Nowadays, the number of “likes” a post gets isn’t the only benchmark for its success. Sure, “likes”, “shares”, and “reposts” of your social media content will tell other users on the platform how popular, or viral, a post has become, but if you want to truly develop your social media presence, then you’ll need to study and measure the analytics of each post by tracking your data. A great social media marketing tool to help you analyze your data is Google Analytics. Each social media platform has its own analytics, too, which provides detailed demographic information that you can use to leverage for any future paid advertising you choose to do, i.e. PPC marketing.
The internet lends itself to the fastest available communication, but at times, that isn’t always a good thing. When interaction gets heated, or out of hand, arguments can quickly evolve into a very bad P.R. situation… Or worse, things can explode into a full-on social media crisis. It’s imperative to have a plan in place for such a disaster. To pull through, we recommend you prepare a list of key responsibilities for the personnel that will be involved in damage control, and delineate a clear chain of command. You can avoid the majority of crises by putting copyright guidelines, privacy guidelines, confidentiality guidelines, and other guidelines in place right now, and be sure all of your employees understand them. One of the built-in benefits of social media is that even if a P.R. crisis arises, you can use the platform itself, posting about the measures you’re taking and your company’s position on the matter, to inform your followers and other users about how you’re handling the snafu.
The larger and more engaged your audience is on your social media platforms, the easier it will be for you to spread awareness about your brand and boost sales. Social media marketing can also help you:
Have you hesitated to look for a marketing agency to handle all of your social media, because you assumed you wouldn’t be able to afford it? What if we told you that FTx 360 can work within any budget? For more information about the social media marketing services at FTx 360 and how our team can benefit your bottom line without breaking the bank, contact us today.