COVID drastically changed the customer journey, with a huge shift to online interactions. Every business had to make changes on the fly to stay afloat, but which marketing strategies should you be using now?
Changes in the Customer Journey
Businesses worldwide have made massive shifts over the past year to adapt to an economy more digital than ever before. Your customers have changed the way they shop. For a while, in-store shopping all but disappeared. We’re thrilled to see real live customers coming through our doors again, but online shopping isn’t going back to pre-COVID levels, if anything it’s still on the rise.
With the explosion of internet shopping, pre-purchase research and customers actively looking to engage with businesses online, some businesses will rise to the top, while others will be lost on page 2 (or worse) of Google. In 2021, we’ve seen the rise of many digital marketing trends, but which online trends will last the test of time?
We’ve outlined the top marketing trends of 2021: 3 predictions for the best new trends coming to marketing, 3 must-haves for any business, and 3 tried and true growth tactics.
Next Hot Thing for Digital Marketing
Here’s a first look at the newest tactics in digital marketing that will position your business at the forefront.
Email marketing has been around forever. The age old struggle has been getting customers to actually get to your website and make a purchase. 97.4% of emails never receive a click. But what if you could make it even easier for customers to see the products they’re already interested in, without ever leaving their inbox. MailChimp is introducing in-email purchasing very soon. Paired with advanced personalization, your customers could see the items they already viewed on your site and complete the checkout process seamlessly inside their inbox.
Now is the time to start growing your email list and website visitors. See how we help clients launch successful email campaigns from template to send out here.
If you thought the #1 spot on Google Search was important, it’s about to become even more so. In a traditional search, we type out what we want Google to show us and typically read the first 4-5 results before choosing which website to visit. With voice search, you’re only shown one choice: the #1 spot on Google. So, if you’re not #1 on Google, those customers will never see you. It’s no longer enough to be on the first page of a search result, now you have to be #1. To increase your rank, your website needs to be optimized for voice search or bypass the line with Google Search Ads.
Business owners don’t always have time to reply to every message they receive. Customers become frustrated at the lack of response and go to the next business. As your business scales, chatbots are a great way to automate answers to routine customer questions and drive sales. Chatbots are easily installed on social media pages, like Facebook, and even on your website. One of our clients started receiving 54% more messages on Facebook last month after installing a simple chatbot. Chatbots can increase sales 10-100% depending on the industry.
2021 Must Haves
If you’re not already doing these things, you’re already behind.
In 2020, video was voted the #1 type of content customers wanted to see from businesses. Since then, the growth of video marketing has only increased, with video taking over as the most engaged form of content across social media platforms, websites, and digital advertising. As of this year, 60% of businesses are using video to reach their customers, and this year, we’ve launched more new YouTube channels than ever before. Video is great for sales; 74% of people who watched an explainer video about a product subsequently bought it. But, it’s great for Google rankings too; you’re 53x more likely to show up first on Google if you have a video on your website’s homepage.
Your marketing should yield measurable data you can count on. “Without data you’re just another person with an opinion.” –Edwards Deming, Statistician. One of the first questions we ask of new clients is, “Do you have Google Analytics installed on your website?”. Know exactly which marketing efforts are yielding the best results and start making informed decisions on where to put your marketing dollars, no guesswork required.
In 2021, if you want to get your business in front of more eyeballs, you’re probably going to have to pay for it. New changes to social media algorithms are making it harder than ever for businesses to have a high organic reach. You’ve probably noticed your numbers decline on social media and for website traffic. With paid Google and Facebook advertising you can ensure your products and services aren’t just seen, but seen by the right people.
Tried and True Tactics for Growth
The next step for elevating your business to the next level.
Your customers want to see YOU! Some of the most successful marketing initiatives are all about people. Position your client as the hero in everything that you do. The simple swap of “our surgical techniques are minimally-invasive” to “you’ll recover faster and with less pain” could mean more appointments coming in your door. Also, don’t be afraid to be in front of the camera. Especially these days when in-person interactions are still limited, your customers want to see your photo and videos when they engage with you online. Start small by just posting a cell-phone video explaining your services. You’ll be surprised at the results!
Have Consistent Branding Online
One of the biggest turn offs to a customer is inconsistent branding. If a customer can’t recognize you across your website, storefront, and social media pages, you’re missing a big opportunity for brand recognition. This means your business name, color scheme and photos should follow one theme no matter where a customer finds you online. Consistency is key for Google search too, with more consistent brands ranking higher in Google Search results. At KMA, we’re known for our branding expertise; from award winning logo design to social media updates, we can help your business build brand recognition.
Optimize for Google’s Core Web Vitals
Google’s Page Experience Update launched June of this year, with new metrics called Core Web Vitals as a way to assign a numerical score to how enjoyable your website is to use. Websites that meet these 6 standards are 24% less likely to be abandoned because your customer will find your site easy to use. Sites that meet these requirements also rank higher on Google Search. The bottom line: your current customers will spend longer on your site and more new customers will find you. See how your website currently ranks here.
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