The pandemic that swept the world throughout 2020 and 2021 changed a lot of the business landscape. There are ways in which we’ll eventually get “back to normal,” but some things have changed for good.
As a small business owner, do you know what today’s current marketing trends are? Here are 10 trends in marketing that you can’t afford to overlook.
1. Digital Marketing
During the pandemic, everyone had to stay inside. That meant that online shopping dramatically increased — not just in North America, but around the world. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development found that online purchases increased by 6 to 10 percent in most categories.
In the United States, COVID-19 caused ecommerce to increase by $105 billion in 2020. And this isn’t a temporary shift — now that they’ve discovered the ease of online shopping, consumers are hooked.
People aren’t consuming traditional content like print media or looking at billboards. Instead, they’re trying to find information online and spending more time than ever in front of devices. As a business owner, it’s essential to know where customers are spending their time so you can focus your marketing efforts there. Today, it’s digital marketing.
2. Video Marketing
Video marketing is booming. Videos are one of the most important marketing trends because they drive significantly more traffic and people prefer to watch video rather than read written content. Users spend 88% more time on a website that has video than one without, and video generates 1200% more shares than other types of content.
Video content is a great storytelling tool and is easy to digest for consumers. You can monetize videos with ads, attract more people, and provide entertainment along with your brand message. Videos also showcase your personality more effectively than any other method. It’s why we love creating video content for Local SEO Search!
3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is also one of the advertising trends that’s increasing in importance. When it comes to digital marketing trends, SEO has been around for a long time because it’s extremely effective.
Customers trust Google to deliver high-quality and relevant websites in search results. If you’re not on that first page, your customers will click through to a competitor. It takes time to become a thought leader and expert and earn the right to be on Google’s front page. But the effort will bring you more ideal leads and ready-to-buy customers.
It may not be one of the new trends in marketing, but search engine optimization cannot be overlooked.
4. Social Media Marketing
Social media is another one of the new marketing strategies that are essential for business today. It’s an important way to connect and communicate with customers, and it gives you a platform for some of your other strategies, like video marketing.
An amazing 93% of brands got a new customer in 2019 thanks to a video on social media. That trend has only accelerated in the last two years as more people stay indoors. Questions, comments, complaints and suggestions all come to your business through social media, and it’s vital to respond.
Social media allows you to implement a powerful brand marketing strategy and you’ll build closer relationships with your audience. Your competitors are already there. Don’t miss out!
Branding has always been important in business, but what’s changed is the way companies approach branding. Today, it’s all about storytelling.
Customers want to know several things about your business:
- What are your core values?
- What does your brand stand for?
- What makes you different from competitors?
- What is your competitive edge?
As Local SEO Search founder John Vuong notes, “Customers don’t want to buy from just anyone. They want to know who you are and that how they spend their money is worthwhile.” What is your story, and why should a consumer buy from you instead of someone else?
6. The Online Shift
People were already buying items online, but the pandemic accelerated the trend rapidly. Today’s marketing models require businesses to offer product and service sales online, even if you’ve traditionally been a brick and mortar store.
We don’t know when consumers will feel safe visiting stores in person and spending time in crowds again. We also don’t know what other challenges the future holds. What we do know is that when consumers can buy products and services online from your website, you’ll be far more resilient as a company.
Even if you offer services that must be done in person you can offer online consultations and work on making the sale. Then let the customer know how they can safely take advantage of your services.
Looking for the next trend in marketing? It’s online!
One of the biggest advances in the digital marketing industry has been the use of automation and artificial intelligence. The pandemic made almost everyone more comfortable with features like voice search, chatbots, and sales assistants.
Using automation is efficient and cost-effective for your company in the long run. Think about how you can automate your processes and take advantage of software that assists customers without human input. Over time, you’ll save money and be more productive.
8. The Importance of Customer Experience
Today’s customers want to connect with companies on an emotional level, not just a transactional one. Maybe your business supports important social causes they align with, or your sales process helps them feel special and important.
Everyone wants good value for their money, but the best companies go beyond that and build trust on a deeper level. That deeper connection is your ticket to success over time.
How can you develop a great customer experience? Listen to customers and consistently add value to your products and services. Serve customers well. Loyal customers are repeat buyers and refer others to your company. They are extremely valuable!
9. Competition in a New Normal
Some companies have failed due to the pandemic, but the ones that haven’t are resilient and have found a way to grow despite the market conditions. When you look at what’s trending online, it’s all about how to pivot and get new customers to expand your business.
Other companies want to snag your customers, so you have to constantly be looking for ways to expand. What are some current trends you can capitalize on in your industry? Can you find a new niche or market segment to target?
The good news is that online, your customer base isn’t just local. It’s global, which can open up a host of new opportunities.
10. Virtual Events
When it seemed like the whole world was cancelled, savvy event organizers realized they could take advantage of technology to bring people together — virtually. If your business used to run in-person events or conferences, it’s time to take advantage of virtual events.
Not only does technology allow you to streamline your event planning and save money, but it can also dramatically expand your attendance base. You can attract people not just in your local area, but across the country and around the world. Not everyone can attend in person, but almost anyone can log in!
When you can expand and target different segments of the market, you amplify your brand and expand your profit margin. Using virtual events, or virtual tickets to watch live events, can grow your business and your market share.
Where Will You Start With These Marketing Trends?
As you can see, there’s a lot going on in digital marketing. Online marketing news is constantly filled with new ideas for businesses weathering this crisis.
We know that these 10 marketing trends are here to stay. However, you can’t do all of them at once, so start with what’s most beneficial to your business now and in the future. What you can’t afford to do is business as usual. Things have changed, and you’ll be left behind.
Are you ready to get started with digital marketing? We’d love to help. Contact us today to discover how we can help you grow!