Businesses had to endure a big hit due to the rise of COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, people have had to adapt to new ways to shop. Now, in-store shopping is just a matter of choice. Most purchases in the past year were done through online shopping platforms. To keep up with their customers, businesses have to adapt to the changing times.
The shift to online shopping and booking is undeniable and the competition is steep. So how can one business maintain its competitiveness? The key is in finding which marketing trends work on their niche.
What Is Online Marketing?
Online marketing refers to a set of tools and methodologies used in order to promote a product or service through web platforms. Online marketing involves a wide spectrum of marketing elements compared to traditional techniques. Also known as internet marketing, web marketing, and digital marketing, this involves social media marketing, pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing.
Online marketing focuses on delivering the following benefits:
- Cut expenses
- Increase growth potential
- Communicate better
- Have better control
- Improve customer service
Effective online marketing relies heavily on consumer data and customer relationship management systems. This serves as the bridge between businesses and their market to achieve the goals of conversion. It can also help companies build brand awareness online.
2021 Digital Marketing Trends
The digital transformation experienced by businesses in the past year was magnified by the pandemic. The changes in consumer needs and behaviours are reflected in the digital marketing trends you need to keep an eye on this year.
- Changes in digital consumer behaviour
Data from McKinsey & Company found that the pandemic accelerated the adoption of ecommerce platforms and strategies in the past 10 years within just 3 months. Consumer spending has increased and most of these were done online.
Transitioning to more resilient infrastructure has become a great priority for most businesses. Since the online shift demands for customers to give vital information, organizations also need to assure them that their data will be given utmost care.
Businesses need to use this time to pivot and keep up with the demands of their market by adopting online ordering, contactless delivery, and curbside pickup options into their business.
- In-email purchases and targeting
Photo by Karolina Grabowska
Email marketing and targeting has been around for years but it is evolving along with other marketing factors. There are billions of email users in the world and while a huge chunk of the emails you send out are left on spam or never read, those who are truly interested in your brand will read them. The good thing about this? These people are also more likely to buy your products or avail of the services such as event rentals in Toronto you are offering. Those emails will never get lost and can drive sales.
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Progressive web applications are those that use emerging web browser APIs features together with traditional progressive enhancement strategy so users can enjoy an installable, responsive, re-engageable, linkable, progressively-enhanced, network independent, and secure platforms. Although relatively new, several companies like Twitter, and Wikipedia saw at least 4x conversion rates since the adoption of PWA.
Can small businesses also enjoy the benefits of PWA? A mobile or responsive site can help improve the user experience. So, if a person looking for a physiotherapy clinic in North York would have to choose between a lagging site and a site that responds well to the user’s navigation, they would rather transact with the latter. Progressive apps increase the business’ appeal.
- Improve Content Quality
Is content still important in 2021? The answer is: it will continue to thrive because it is what people want. Websites that contain banners, pop ups, and ads are frowned upon. People are craving for information about the products and services offered and how these could benefit them.
A change worth noting in 2021 is the utilization of video and voice search. Creating content that can be easily tagged by these search platforms should be a priority of marketers. Several marketing experts say that more than half of consumers prefer to read articles about a product or service instead of finding about them through advertisements. The interest is even higher for video content.
Like other marketing trends, content is also evolving. These days, content is about watching trends and creating and sharing information relevant to the market.
- Virtual Reality
Virtual reality uses computer technology to create and stimulate environments. This allows an experience and interaction between the users and the products and services. It was seen as typically difficult to pull off at first since it needs a special head-mounted device for display but, granted these 3D glasses are becoming easily accessible. Adding VR into your marketing plan makes a great tool for learning and entertainment. This technique has been widely used by museums that create virtual tours for visitors. Instead of visitors having to visit physically, they can be admitted through tickets and go on a virtual tour which is just as immersive.
- Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) marketing uses AI technology to automate decision-making. This is done after sufficient data has been collected, analyzed, and observed from the audience and economic trends that can impact the business’ marketing efforts.
AI is used to make marketing efforts faster. The data and profiles of customers are used to create a formula to best communicate with the clients without the intervention from team members. Some of the uses of AI marketing are:
- Automated decision making
- Content generation
- Data analysis
- Media buying
- Natural language processing
- Real-time personalization
AI is especially helpful for brewing fresh content and personalization. It digests large amounts of data for every user and serves them with the content they need.
The pandemic brought several changes in the way people purchase products and book services. The competition is steep and brands have to find ways to best reach their Online marketing professionals in Ottawa and in other parts of Canada have to learn and adopt some trends to best serve the market. Invest in your marketing and see your business soar.