Alright, so our first major marketing prediction for 2021 is that there will be more brand authenticity. There is an entirely new wave of appreciation for user-generated content or UGC. Which is basically any form of content like images, audio, text, or video that was posted by another user. It’s so powerful because rather than trying to convince your customers how awesome your brand is, you let your fans show off for you. Starbucks’ famous #RedCupContest is a perfect example of how to get customers to promote your brand.
Last year, during the holidays, Starbucks launched the #RedCupContest asking fans to submit cool photos of their coffees for the chance to win a Starbucks gift card. And their fans always participate. To date, this campaign has garnered over 35,000 photos of red cups and still counting.
Because of production restrictions and social distancing, UGC is taking off and people are loving it. This is because we are seeing a more authentic connection between the brands and people that are watching.
2. Text Messaging Will Takeover Email
Our second 2021 marketing prediction is that email will become less relevant and replaced by text messaging. Now arguably some of the biggest influencers have already started to put a stronger emphasis on texting over email and for good reason. The average open rate for text marketing campaigns is 98% compared to an open rate of 20% for email marketing campaigns.
In a world with endless distractions, going directly into someone’s text inbox gives you the greatest chance to get their attention and get a response. As we think about 2021, we can see the importance of asking for your prospects’ phone number instead of their email address. So here’s a PRO tip: Next year, when you are setting up landing pages or pop-ups on your website, instead of emailing them the discount or lead magnet, consider texting it to them. Ideally, set it up so that if they happen to respond, you can also respond back.
3. Technical SEO Will Be Vital
Our third marketing prediction for 2021 is around search engine optimization and people who are technically minded. Google has always emphasized user experience as one of the top signals for deciding which sites to give traffic or rankings to. They want the most useful and relevant information to show for their users based on the intent of their search. Google announced that Core Web Vitals will be added to their new page experience signal. This isn’t just a prediction. We mean, Google themselves announced just last month that this is happening. Saying, quote “We’re announcing that page experience ranking signals for Google Search will launch in May 2021. This will combine Core Web Vitals and previous UX-related signals.”
So if you’ve been trying to win rankings and want to get more website traffic in 2021, this one is huge AND something that you can do right now. Start now by going to your Google Web Console or setting one up. Then check out the suggestions from Google about optimizing your core web vitals. This is something that we are doing and can’t wait to see how it impacts us. So we’ve got May 2021 circled on our calendar and we’ll be looking closely at the results.
4. Increase in Local and Mobile Searches
Now sticking with search, our fourth prediction is that Google will continue to go more local and more mobile. It’s no surprise that over the years, more people are buying smartphones and that is leading to mobile search on Google to rapidly increase. As we mentioned, with Google paying so close attention to user signals, it’s equally important that websites are optimized for mobile. This is nothing new. In fact, we know that Google has been putting weight on websites with a good mobile experience for years.
It is our feeling that every year as the demand for mobile sites increases, Google puts more weight on it. So if you haven’t optimized for it yet, then there’s no better time to start than in 2021.
Now a lot of you aren’t going to like this, but here’s the truth. 2020 took a lot of businesses by surprise. We mean, sure the world was going digital, but everyone thought they had plenty of time to figure things out and shift their business. Turns out that was false. If 2020 showed us anything, it was the fact that if your business was set up for handling online business, then you’re one of those companies that were able to pivot far more easily than those who did not. Then there are hundreds of thousands of people who just learned this lesson – the hard way. If you were launching a physical location in 2020, then you likely suffered. If you were launching a business powered by online, then you likely had a better chance of success.
Now, if you are one of those people who experienced online success in 2020, then you should know that the herd is coming. Those hundreds of thousands of people are learning, hiring people, setting up websites, social media pages, and more… they’re getting ready to go after your audience. So in 2021, we’re going to see some massive clashes of people fighting over customers. We’re going to see some intense marketing campaigns, and we might even start seeing some heavy online beef. If you’re reading this post, then you’ve got an edge. You’ve got the opportunity to see some of the early trends that are happening. Prepare now so when new people enter the market, they’ll wonder how you keep seeming to win over the audience.
Additional Marketing Predictions Worth Noting:
Now, here’s an important note. Advertising online is a game that is mostly won by those who have the most money. We don’t say that lightly, because truthfully there are still a lot of bad advertisers who don’t know what they are doing and wasting money. A lot of our clients end up getting more leads and sales because we know the right advertising strategies to use. Eventually in your space, there will be an advertiser who not only has great strategies but also has more money. So what will you do about that?
Bonus Marketing Predictions Tip:
If you can use an organic strategy, then start building content now. Content levels the playing field. It’s a game about effort. Who is going to spend more time with the target audience? Now, of course, you have to hold the said audience’s attention, which means you need to provide a lot of value. The game becomes more about attention and less about advertising dollars.
Consumers today expect things NOW. They want quick explanations, quick responses. They want quick delivery, quick returns, etc. Sometimes, the best marketing is service. When someone has a pleasant experience, they are likely to come back and refer to other people. So what can you do to make your business an inch faster to meet consumer expectations today? Also, going along with speed is relevancy. Okay, so if something newsworthy or trendy happens, how quickly can you jump into the conservation? The faster you can, the more likely you are to gain awareness and stand out among the competition.
7. Short-form Video
Long-form video definitely has its advantages and there’s definitely a time and place for it like when you go live. The biggest con of long-form video is that you have to hold your audience’s attention for longer periods of time. With social media and all the interesting distractions going on around us, that is becoming increasingly difficult to pull off. Think about this. Which would you rather have?
Option A) Someone visits your site, starts a 10-minute video, and only makes it to the two-minute mark.
Option B) Someone visits your sites, starts a 60-second video, and watches the whole thing?
We’re thinking option B, if packed with incredible value, would be the best choice for you. So when someone is closer to the bottom of your funnel which means they are close to actually becoming a customer, then don’t force a 10-minute video in their face. Hit with a quick testimonial reel, product explanation, or review.
8. More Nostalgia
Studies have shown that a hit of nostalgia can improve our mental state. Research has proven that nostalgia can be positive for mental health and can even reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. What’s more, people actively engage in nostalgia. It can be willful, like choosing to think of happy memories. Sensory triggers like a photo, smell, or sound also allow us to indulge in nostalgia. So this makes sense why brands want to be associated with these positive emotions and there’s no better way to do that than with a throwback.
Of course, you need to be very in-tuned with your audiences like knowing their age and their interest, so you can call back a relevant throwback. In fact, some Super Bowl ads of 2020 did exactly that. Check this commercial from Cheetos where they threw it back to the 90s, to give their audience a hit of nostalgia.
Now obviously this MC Hammer reference makes sense because Cheetos was probably at the height of their popularity in the 90s. So again, you just need to make sure the throwback is relevant to your audience and you will instantly inspire emotions. This doesn’t require much effort. You can spark feelings with a simple quote, a little music, an image, or you can go all the way there with a video.
Marketing Predictions: Final Takeaways
Alright, those are our digital marketing predictions for 2021. Before you go anywhere, tell us what you think. Do you think any of these will come true and what are some things you believe will happen in 2021? Share it with us in the comments below.
If you want to start your 2021 with a sound marketing strategy that is tailored to your business’ specific goals and needs, then it’s the perfect time to work with the experts.
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