Marketing trends come and go faster than a Nascar driver through a pitstop these days. It’s challenging enough to keep track of them all, let alone decide which ones to implement yourself. Luckily, a few stand out from the rest and can be put to immediate use to grow your business.
Most trends can be found on a national or even global scale, but those same trends can have an impact on local marketing. If you’re an entrepreneur and local businesspeople, keep your eye on these five trends in 2021:
1. Growing Social Media
2020 proved that anything can happen in the social media world, as Tiktok blew up seemingly overnight and carried with it anyone who was prepared for its rise. Watching out for social media trends in 2021 will be a huge factor in marketing success in the coming months.
While some might see social media as a place to connect with customers, followers, friends, and family from around the world, there are aspects of these platforms that excel when it comes to local marketing. The best example is found in target marketing. You can tailor social media ads to specific regions or even cities and target only people with registered addresses in that area. The specified content will reach them better than a generic campaign with no geographic emphasis.
2. Adjusting SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, refers to how well your website and its pages rank in web searches made over search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
The better your SEO, the higher you’ll appear in searches, making you more visible to interested customers. The world of SEO promotion is constantly changing, so you’ll need to be on your toes to take advantage of its potential.
For example, Google is making information available right on search pages without users needing to click on links for quick answers. You’ll have to find new ways to bring in engagement and capitalize on search intent in 2021. Another growing trend is that of voice search, which will require optimization of content to appear with spoken phrases rather than typed shorthand.
One of the most common online searches includes the words ‘near me’. For local marketing, you want to be on top of these local searches. It’s one of the easiest search intent key phrases to target and will provide near instant results if you can pull off search campaigns correctly.
3. Becoming Transparent
The events of 2020 shook up the business world in more ways than one. While finances will rebound as the Covid-19 pandemic fades away, some trends are here to stay. One in particular is the consumer’s growing need for company transparency. They want to know what the brands they support believe in and what they’re doing when they think everyone has their back turned.
A 2018 survey by Accenture showed that 42% of consumers walk away from a brand in frustration over their words and actions. One in five of those consumers will never return. It’s more important now than ever for companies to use their digital platforms to make positive statements and publish actions that unite their customers and boost their PR.
Transparency will be just as important for local marketing as it is for national and global marketing. Your local community wants to stand behind you if you support the same ideals they do. Don’t put on a facade just to please the masses, but use your platform to do good and you’ll be rewarded.
4. Implementing Artificial Intelligence
The future is being built on artificial intelligence. AI works harder than humans can simply because it doesn’t get tired. Companies using AI will have a competitive advantage over any that don’t especially when it comes to marketing.
Using AI you’re able to compile and analyze data in real-time to pick on consumer trends even at a local level. You can even utilize a chatbot, one of the fastest growing versions of AI, to direct customers from your website to local stores and help them answer frequently asked questions.
5. Capitalizing on Video
If you’ve read an article on marketing before this one, chances are you read a section about video as the current king of content. This is still very much the case, but the video landscape is still changing. In 2020 it was all about short video that captured the attention of consumers scrolling by. New forms of video are picking up steam, and your business needs to be prepared for the wave.
For starters, people will spend three times as long watching a live video as they will watching anything else. What better way to bring together a local community than by shooting some live video? Live video also enables a closer connection to customers than through blog or social media posts.
You won’t know if a trend is legitimate or not until you try it. I’ve learned more trends experimenting with new strategies at Castello Branco Fields and I hope you can learn from my efforts to become a better marketer.