With social distancing measures in place, businesses have been forced to take their business online and increase their digital presence in order to remain competitive.
There is no doubt that business and marketing operations will gradually return to normal in the near future, but many of the digital marketing trends seen so far are here to stay. These include virtual events, social shopping, live chat, and other ways of communicating online.
The hottest topics in 2021 will be digital marketing and eCommerce. These digital marketing strategies will set you apart from the crowd.
1. Virtual Events
The lockdowns in 2021 have forced businesses to replace in-person events with virtual ones. Consider hosting your own online webinar.
Similarly, 89% of respondents reported that live events are effective for increasing product understanding, as compared to virtual events.
As a matter of logistics, hosting a virtual event is much easier than hosting one in-person. You should conduct a dry run to identify any minor glitches that weren’t apparent during the event planning phase. Ensure the speakers have the right tools and know-how to ensure the event runs smoothly at the same time.
Each webinar has a trailer and a video link. Viewers must sign up first to get full access so they can simultaneously enter the sales funnel. HubSpot offers a library of webinars about advertising and sales. In addition to interactive gifs, people are also drawn to the speakers’ accomplishments.
2. Optimization of images for visual search
With Google Lens, you can conduct a visual search if you don’t know the product’s name. For instance, if your friend posts a picture of their new shoes on Instagram, you can search for the shoe’s product page, retailers, and related blogs using Google Lens.
The following tips will help you optimize your images for visual search to increase discoverability:
Descriptions of images should include alt text
Images should be high-quality and high-resolution
For the file name of the image, include relevant SEO keywords (e.g., product name)
Your online store will receive more traffic if you understand how to leverage Google Lens.
3. Build interactive content
A variety of tools have made it easier for brands to create their own quizzes, polls, giveaways, and surveys.
An interactive quiz, poll, infographic, or game is more fun and shareable than your average blog post, resulting in twice as many conversions and five times more page views.
You don’t need to hire a graphic designer to try this strategy. You can use online polls and images with open-ended questions to engage your audience.
You might find these examples of successful interactive content inspiring:
Due to the way respondents share their results and invite friends to take Buzzfeed’s quizzes on social media, Buzzfeed’s quizzes are known for going viral online. They have created a video called “What City Should You Actually Live In?” which has been viewed more than 22 million times and garnered over 2.5 million Facebook likes.
Aside from quizzes, online calculators can provide research-backed insights. ThredUp’s Fashion Footprint Calculator is designed to measure your closet’s contribution to climate change. It has also garnered more than 42.4k social interactions.
4. Improve local SEO
With Google, we can find out about local stores and undiscovered hole-in-the-walls in our community. More importantly, when we search for a specific business, we’re already eager to visit. All we need is the location, opening hours, contact information, or official website—and we’re ready to go.
It is worthwhile to invest in local search engine optimization since consumers have a higher intent to purchase. Improving local search engine optimization can also increase brand awareness and boost foot traffic within your local community.
Create a Google My Business listing for your business and add product photos and menu information to keep customers up-to-date.
Here’s an example of a Google listing for a restaurant in Paris. In addition to basic information, users can get directions via Google Maps, view the outside of the establishment, and book a table.
Boost searchability by placing your business’ location, city, or a nearby prominent landmark on your landing pages.
5. Create shoppable posts
The use of social media has increased due to social distancing measures.
In 2020, 58% of consumers are expected to increase their social media consumption. Facebook reports that 49% of online shoppers would consider purchasing products from live streams from influencers, celebrities, and brands they follow.
Hence, shoppable posts can attract more attention for your business and increase conversions as well, because product discovery happens on social media.
You can make shoppable posts by linking your social media account to your Shopify store.
In addition, you don’t have to be a big brand to advertise on Instagram. Even with just a few products, you can create a shoppable post and sell it on social media. Because shoppable posts require fewer steps to complete a transaction, you can even generate more conversions.
6. Conversational marketing
A chatbot is the future of marketing. With advances in AI technology, chatbots can answer hundreds of inquiries at once and direct users along the sales funnel simultaneously. With chatbots, customers can get immediate answers to their questions.
In fact, 67% of US millennials would likely purchase products and services from brands that use chatbots. Likewise, 57% of consumers believe chatbots can generate a large ROI.
If you’re a Shopify store owner, you can build a chatbot with the GoBeyond App or get an account on Chatfuel, the leading bot platform.
Take this Sephora appointment booking bot, for example. Users can choose a 45-minute custom makeover appointment time slot, and book the appointment at a nearby Sephora store. The automation of their scheduling process makes sign-ups convenient for both customers and employees.
7. Digital loyalty program
With more customers making online purchases, brands can still foster customer loyalty through digital loyalty programs.
A digital loyalty program tracks a consumer’s purchases through an app or website, not a paper-based loyalty program. Each time a customer completes a transaction, a digital stamp is placed on their account. As soon as they meet the necessary requirements, they can log in to their account and track their progress.
As customers love to get rewards for using their favorite brands, a digital loyalty program could increase repeat purchases and make it easier for them to return to your online store on a regular basis.
Starbucks Rewards allows customers to earn stars for every dollar spent. As customers earn more stars, they can redeem free drinks, brewed coffee, packaged lunch, or exclusive merchandise.
8. Launch a referral program
A referral program is another digital marketing strategy that must be tried. While referrals can happen organically, referral programs offer incentives to encourage customers to refer others.
Basically, a referral program allows customers to share a unique link or code with their friends and family. If any of them use their referral code, they will receive rewards, such as discounts or freebies.
Compared to sponsored ads, referrals from friends are more likely to be trusted by consumers, which makes this digital marketing strategy more effective.
In their referral program, ThreadBeast rewards brand advocates who refer friends and receive a $50 bonus in bonus items for their first purchase, while existing customers get a free clothing package.
With the new year comes new sales and marketing targets. We may find it challenging to reach our goals, but putting these strategies into practice can help us achieve them.
Keeping track of your results and modifying your digital marketing strategy will help you convert more customers in no time. Start small, monitor your results, and modify your digital marketing strategy-and you’ll convert more customers in no time.