Marketing trends for 2021

26 March 2021

As we slowly emerge from the chaos of 2020, organisations are facing a year of marketing in a profoundly different world. The changes, broadly speaking, are all about the man and the machine. ‘The man’ is all about the human touch. Consumers want to see real issues addressed and demand greater accountability from the businesses they engage with. ‘The machine’ is the jump forward in campaign structure, technical optimisation, and SEO. Here’s a quick rundown on what to focus on and how.

UX counts for SEO

As of May 2020, Google takes UX signals into account just as much as it does other on and off page SEO factors. Why? Because if a page is difficult to use, people won’t stay on it, even if the information there answers their query. Aside from web design and information architecture, important UX factors include load time, stability of content, mobile-friendliness, HTTPS security, and lack of intrusive pop-ups (so if you have an opt-in pop up, make sure it’s easy to exit on mobile!).

Be specifically useful

Google BERT update shifted the focus away from keywords and towards search intent. In simpler terms, Google is working harder to make sure users find what they want, not just pages with similar words. This also helps with the rise of conversational queries that come from people asking Siri and Alexa questions verbally rather than typing them out. It’s not enough to focus on long and short tail keywords anymore. You need to drill down deep into your sales funnel and create content based on the intent at every stage. Use clear, conversational phrasing and consider publishing a page of FAQ packed with natural sounding questions.

Sell and serve online

Unsurprisingly, one of the most significant behavioural changes has been the digitisation of… just about everything! Whether you sell a product, provide a service, or are running an event, it’s more important than ever for your audience to be able to engage with you online and on their phones. When you’re making shifts to digital, focusing on a sense of connection, convenience, and great value will keep your audience happy and coming back for more.

Personal data becomes more valuable

In-app tracking and cookies are on their way out, which means it’s getting a lot harder for marketers to collect third-party information. Don’t be discouraged though. Despite it being more difficult to get, the data you do have will be cleaner and more engaged. Quality over quantity.  It’s not clear yet who or what will fill the vacuum left by cookies, but for now, be selective with your media partners.

Video marketing is still a big deal

It seems like people have endless appetite for video, supported by the range of new formats and methods of audience engagement. Youtube is actually the 2nd largest search engine out there, and Google is getting on board with Youtube videos now being featured at the top of search results.

Haven’t gotten on board with video marketing yet? Check out our complete guide to video marketing ebook.

Activism is in

Good news for nonprofits! 2020’s swelling civil rights has translated to more focus on brand ethics from consumers, with more scrutiny than ever on whether big brands truly practice what they preach. Now’s the time to examine how you do business and patch things up. If you run an ethical, sustainable, inclusive ship, make sure to communicate that in your marketing. Your audience wants to know.

Adaptability is a must

Back in the pre-COVID ‘Good Old Days’, it was normal for marketing campaigns to be mapped out months in advance, if not a whole year. The pandemic showed brands worldwide that things don’t always go according to plan and survival can depend on fresh creativity at breakneck speed. With shorter planning and production times, take the time to identify what matters most and how to prioritise.

If you need help tackling your 2021 marketing plan, get in touch with out team today.





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