2020 was a year of rapid change for the digital marketing landscape, and 2021 will be a year of transformation. The upheaval of 2020 saw consumer behaviour dramatically change, meaning that digital marketing and their clients need to be prepared to change and adapt.
With this in mind, we thought we’d pull together our predictions for the top 5 digital marketing trends in 2021:
Social media will become a top channel for purchase, instead of just discovery
It’s predicted that social media commerce will continue to grow rapidly in 2021. Both Facebook and Instagram bought shopping capabilities in 2020, and these easier integrations allow for buyers to complete their purchases without leaving the app. A study by SproutSocial in 2020 found that 46% of Instagram users purchased one or more products that were put in front of them in a sponsored IG post. Showing the shift from social channels being solely for discovery, and instead becoming a top channel for purchase.
As well as the added convenience for consumers, these online shopping tools provide brands with new opportunities to sell their products online. Digital marketers should take advantage of this and optimise social channels to promote purchase and help increase conversion rate.
More interactive content
“81% of people agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively (than static content)”
Interactive content helps to both promote engagement, and boost user enjoyment. It’s part of a greater trend towards personalisation and can be used to collect data on user preferences. Being able to give their opinions and feedback, through the use of instagram polls and quizzes for example, make customers feel a more personal connection to the brand, strengthening brand loyalty.
SEO for Voice Search
“Alexa, what’s the weather like today?”
We have all done a voice search before, and an increasing number of users are opting to use voice commands rather than typing, and this is directly changing the way Google handles search queries and how it searches for information. According to ComScore, over 50% of searches are from voice search. Voice search utilises innovations such as Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa, and Apple’s Siri, and with the Covid-19 pandemic promoting the use of hands-free technology, it’s predicted that more than half of households will own a smart speaker by 2020. This rise in the use of voice search has a knock on effect on SEO and its existing conventions.
Voice search suggested answers are based on the top rankings pages on SERPS, with 91% of the results are being taken from Google’s top 5. Placing further emphasis on the continuing and ever growing need for content to be easy to read and understand, prompting the reader to click on the link and read more. Around “75% of voice search results will rank in the top three positions in search engine results pages” which shows how important it is for SEO strategies to adapt in response. Here are a few aspects to focus on:
Voice searches will tend to use question words such as ‘who, what, where, when and how’, meaning that marketers will need to ensure that their content is both accurate and relevant to these queries. Queries that can be answered with short brief answers tend not to sit favourably with Google, making it more difficult for the page to rank well. Focus should initially be put on the questions that the business is already ranking well for, and they should work to optimise these, then move on to the lower ranking questions.
Lengthening of keywords
With spoken language tending not to be as concise as written word, the length of keywords will become longer. Voice searches currently average 29 words in length, this will require SEO strategists to use more long-tail keywords to help increase the probability of conversion.
Add rich media
A great way to help with adding context to your website, in order to help boost your search rankings, is to add rich media. Embed videos from youtube, and optimise images, and with regards to content - the lengthier the better, but only if the information is relevant and valuable.
Focus on the “Featured Snippet” in Google SERPs
For years and years the goal of SEO has been to be position number one on Google, but going into 2021 the new goal will be to reach ‘position zero’, which refers to Googles ‘featured snippet’. What is a featured snippet you may ask? A featured snippet, sometimes referred to as ‘position zero’, are the summary answers that appear at the top of the search results, and separated by a small box. It provides extra and relevant information in response to the search query without requiring the user to click on the page.
This ‘no-click search’ also provides marketers with an opportunity to boost conversions, drive more traffic to their site, and beat competitors. However the challenge that no-click search poses for digital marketers is that they need to work to get their website to rank at ‘position zero’ but also encourage the user to want to learn more and click on your page. So it’s important to ensure that the content is easy to read and understand.
Segmentation is all about your target audience, where you reach them, and how you talk to them. Some brands already needed refreshed segmentation even before the Covid-19 pandemic, and others, although they may have been confident with their segmentations, feel that the fundamental shift in mindset, lifestyle, and behaviour of their consumers, demands a segmentation refresh.
The dramatic change in consumer behaviour during 2020 meant that many segmentations conducted just before the pandemic lost their usefulness. Marketers will need to move away from traditional and rigid segmentation, instead they’ll have massive data sets available in near and real time, allowing their segmentation to be more flexible. Social media allows marketers to segment behaviour lifestyles between different audiences in real time, enabling more flexibility. 2021 brings a demand for marketers to be able to reach and engage more meaningfully with customers, and social media segregations can “offer richer, more relevant, and more emotional foundations for defining audiences beyond simple demographics.”
How can Wriggle help?
Wriggle Marketing provides strategic digital marketing advice and web consultancy services to businesses of all sizes across the UK and Europe. Interested in finding out how we can help your business keep up with the emerging digital marketing trends of 2021? Contact us today!