2021 Digital Marketing Trends, Part 1

The longest year ever will be over in just a few weeks.

And good riddance!!

Still, a few good things came out of 2020:

  • We realized that lots of in-person meetings are completely unnecessary and that if a meeting must be held, it’s often fine to hold it via video.
  • Many people started working from home, doing away with exceptionally long commutes….and the stress inherent in them.
  • We all realized that the only things that really matter are our closest relationships and that if we are surrounded by people who love us, we are truly wealthy.
  • We started prioritizing what’s important in life, mindfully choosing what we’d focus on, ignoring the rest.

The pandemic’s effect on digital marketing

  • PPC tanked! Spending plummeted as companies’ customers clamored for information and relationship (social media usage increased tremendously). Marketers soon enough saw that having a continuous organic digital marketing strategy was the key to their success.
  • Local businesses discovered that Google My Business mattered more than ever as they needed to update their hours (if needed). Businesses also needed to up their game when it came to customer satisfaction as shoppers weren’t shy about providing reviews.
  • Many businesses upped their e-commerce capabilities as shoppers were loath to come inside to buy. Companies also needed to market these new/expanded digital shopping offerings to their customers and prospects.
  • Social media advertising increased. This makes sense: as more people are on their social channels, so too does the cost rise to have a chance to capture the attention of more eyeballs. SocialBakers.com found that CPC costs rose about 10 percent worldwide. Yet that increased cost is offset by the fact that advertisers are reaching a wider audience.

Digital marketing trends to expect in 2021

The pandemic – and how it’s affected digital marketing – soon enough will be in the past, so let’s move on to what we expect to see regarding next year’s top digital marketing trends.

We’ll discuss three here and will continue with three more in our next post (2021 Digital Marketing Trends, Part 2).

  1. User experience will become absolutely critical when it comes to rankings in search algorithms.

Creating ease of use always has been critical from the user’s point of view: “Bye-bye website if I can’t find what I’m looking for immediately!” Yet it’s now becoming a big factor for search algorithms.

Google now takes into account what are called “UX signals” and “Core Web Vitals” when it comes to ranking websites.

Bottom line? A site’s user experience is just as important as on- and off-page SEO when it comes to search engine results.

  • You don’t need to be on every digital channel!

Wow! Just. Wow. This is big. It’s also a big relief: so many marketers – and their clients, if applicable – felt they’d miss out on leads big time unless they “had all the things.” Quite the anxiety inducer.

As mentioned above, the pandemic has seen many of us start mindfully choosing what we focus on. The trend now and in the foreseeable future also will be mindfully choosing the channels on which we market services or products. And that means often choosing the most effective channels and leaving the rest to….the rest.

For example, LinkedIn is without a doubt the better social media channel for B2B lead generation than Twitter. Some marketers may say “stay with Twitter to at least have a presence there.” But we would say: “Don’t waste your time and effort.”

Another example: Facebook ads can be a terrific way for local businesses to generate local leads. But if you primarily sell B2B, not so much.

In other words, focus on where your prospects hang out and ignore the rest.

  • Email probably will be even more effective.

As mentioned above, the pandemic meant companies needed to create true relationships with their customers. And what’s one way to become “as one” with your prospects? Email!

Email open rates before COVID hit increased 2.44 percent year-over-year in early 2020 compared to early 2019. As for after COVID hit (March and beyond)?  The year-over-year open-rate increased an astounding 31.54 percent!

And while these months during the pandemic may not be indicative of email open rates once the pandemic is behind us, we think email marketing will turn into a must-do digital marketing activity because your prospects and customers have pretty much come to crave connection.

Stay tuned for digital marketing trends, Part 2

There are several new marketing trends to be aware of for next year, so we’re splitting this topic into two posts. Look for three more top 2020 digital marketing trends here soon!

In the meantime, learn more about how Ingenex Digital Marketing can help your company thrive next year and beyond.