The first half of 2021 proved hopeful for many economies across the globe, as governments pushed their Covid-19 vaccination programs into high gear. All are aiming for herd immunity in a bid to let commercial and industrial institutions resume operations and finally letting people out of their homes and back into their normal lives.
But the onslaught of new and more contagious variants threatens to stall the global recovery one more time. These prompted businesses at all levels to adjust and make do with the limitations of the new normal, all striving to make the most gain from these new work arrangements.
Industries that quickly adopted and gained the most from a successful remote work environment include professional services, eCommerce and marketing. This is spurred by the evolving purchasing behaviors among consumers, as witnessed by 60% of global companies.
These prompted businesses to pivot from their sales and marketing strategies that may not work in the new normal. To get the best results, they should adopt new and effective digital marketing campaigns that will enable them to sell their products and/or services to the right institutions, organizations, and people.
The following takes a closer look at some of the most important and most effective Digital Marketing strategies so far:
Jockeying for Space at Position Zero
2021 ushered in a new SEO visibility goal that used to belong to the #1 spot of search engine results. Google’s “featured snippet”, an easy-to-distinguish box on top of search engine results that is more popularly known as Position Zero, emerged as the most coveted spot among digital marketers.
- Position Zero presents a “no-click search” feature that provides search users with quick and relevant answers to their queries without the need to click on the links provided.
- As much as 34.4% of searches on desktops and 5% of searches on mobile devices result in “no-click search” featured snippet. As much as 40.7% of search results from voice queries were generated from a featured snippet
- Effective use of featured snippets includes drawing in targeted audiences with useful and relevant information that will entice them to click on your links to get more information
Leverage Local SEO by Getting Verified on Google My Business Listings
- By getting verified at Google My Business listings, information about your business will appear in “near me” searches, making your business known to people looking for products or services at a specific geographically defined service area
- By checking and confirming your verification status at Google My Business, you can manage your business information across all of Google’s properties and prevent fraudulent entities to take advantage of your listing
- Getting verified and listed at Google My Business provides targeted consumers with more assurance, enabling them to trust your brand and business even more
Be Heard through Voice Search
The exploding popularity of smartphone devices with voice-activated digital assistants shifted search trends significantly. Trends lean towards a massive adoption of Voice Search, making 72% of voice search users proclaim that this feature in their devices has now become a significant part of their lives.
- People from all generation levels are attracted to the popularity of Voice Search. While as much as 55% of teens used voice search, up to 56% of adults who made use of the voice search functions of their mobile devices received a tech-savvy feel from their experience.
- Sectors like eCommerce and shopping have made effective use of Voice Search strategies, with experts projecting Voice Search Shopping to grow into a $40 billion industry by the year 2022
Be Visible through Visual Search
The use of pictures and images for search is slowly but surely emerging as an effective business marketing tool with the growing popularity of visual-driven search tools like Google Lens, Pinterest Lens, and other similar tools and applications.
- Brands and businesses leveraging on eCommerce and online shopping are getting favorable and highly targeted results from consumers making use of pictures and images to make searches for products or services.
- Brands and businesses wanting to leverage on the effectiveness of Visual Search need to apply the following basic strategies:
- Make use of high-quality videos and images in your sites
- Make your image filenames descriptive and includes targeted SEO keywords
- Leverage on the “Alt tags” feature by adding a descriptive alternate text to images
- Create a dedicated image sitemap or enhance your existing sitemap by adding images
Release the Chatbots
Businesses that can engage with their customers whenever and wherever can gain the most benefits. However, not all businesses have the resources to maintain a 24/7 customer service facility that can address the needs of their customers at anytime of the day. The answer is with the use of Chatbots.
- Chatbots that leverage on AI-based technologies can provide businesses with a 24-hour customer service facility, respond quickly to any inquiries at any time of the day, or answer simple questions occasionally thrown in by site users.
- As much as 63% of costumers prefer the use of chatbot to communicate directly with the customer service channels of brands or businesses. Chatbots provide a portal that allow users to communicate with customer service quickly, instead of waiting in line for a customer service rep to talk with them.
- A new generation of conversational chatbot systems are emerging in the coming periods, as evident with the launching of Google’s LaMDA, a Natural Language Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that is projected to hold its own particularly in natural conversations.
Be Even More Visible with Video Marketing
Connecting with targeted customers through Video Marketing remain a very important and highly effective digital marketing tool in the first half of 2021 and is projected to remain among the top trends in years to come. It is still one of the most popular and effective ways to let consumers know about your products and services.
- Online users are naturally attracted to video, which they find more captivating than ordinary texts or non-moving images. Websites that make use of video marketing can generate up to 50x more organic reach.
- Up to 72% of businesses that made use of video marketing claimed to have significantly improved their conversion rates because of video.
- New Video Marketing trends that businesses can make use of include:
- Live Video – events; product demos; how products are made; office life; etc
- 1:1 Video – personalized video messages to customers instead of emails of phone calls
- Video SEO – optimizing video for SEO giving them higher visibility in SERPs
- 360-degree Video Content – Using a special camera, videos generated allow users to move their point of view from right to left or top to bottom, giving them a more interactive user experience
Other Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out For:
As much as 63% of consumers are annoyed by the repeated marketing blasts from businesses. Personalized content marketing is proven to generate as much as 3X better results and is projected to become an industry standard soon.
Location Based Marketing (GeoFencing)
Geofencing or Location Based Marketing provides real-time user targeting based on their location. Push notifications based on this information generate more customer interactions and increase conversions by as much as 52%, allowing geofencing-based businesses to grow by as much as USD 2,387 million by the year 2023.
Google Ads Automation and Smart Bidding
Paid advertising through Google Ads remains an effective and important digital marketing tool in 2021 and will continue to make waves in the coming years with advancements in automated bidding strategies and Smart Bidding features. This allows business businesses to spend less time in managing advertisements and spend more time in their core operations.
The Take Away
Whatever marketing plans you have before the pandemic may or may not be effective in the New Normal. So, instead of waiting for things to go back to the way they were, smart businesses should re-evaluate their strategies and start embracing new Digital Marketing trends and techniques.
Leveraging on these new Digital Marketing trends, business can learn to ride on new consumer behaviors that will continue to reshape the market not only during the second half of this year, but also in the years to come.
Jomer B. Gregorio is a well-rounded expert when it comes digital marketing. Jomer is also known as a semantic SEO evangelist and practitioner. Check out our Digital Marketing Services today and let us help you in achieving positive and profitable results for your business.