Change is the only constant in digital marketing. And thus you need to adopt new tactics for the year of 2021.
In 2021, you as a marketer, need to provide human connections to your audiences. Adding to that are automation and value delivery.
For 2021, you need to adopt tactics in the following fields of digital marketing: content marketing, SEO, Paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, and automation.
Before you go, Gain knowledge about Inbound Marketing if you don’t know how to do it.
Let’s check out the digital marketing tactics you need to use under each of the seven individual aforementioned fields.
1. Content Marketing
Content Marketing plays a very important role in gaining and building relationships with the target audience. So it is a vital part of your digital marketing strategy.
However, you should not create content just for the sake of creating content. Using SEO shortcuts will not work as well.
This year, you need to produce and publish content based around your business that will benefit your target audience. This will help you to resonate with them.
1.1 Publish content that creates awareness and positive buzz around your business
As mentioned before, publishing content just for the sake of it is futile. Sure, you might get a lot of organic traffic. But how many of the visitors will convert into customers at the end?
Therefore, you need to publish content that is related to your business and benefits your audience at the same time.
To find such content, go through the following steps:
- Step-1: Determine topics relevant to your business, products, and/or services.
- Step-2: Shortlist topics that will be beneficial to your target audience.
- Step-3: Select from the shortlist, topics that are likely to generate the most traffic
1.2 Reoptimize your old content to gain more search visibility
Two factors valued by search engine algorithms are freshness and authority. You might face a dilemma here as both of the factors seem contradictory- posts that have authority are usually old and posts that have freshness have less authority.
There is a solution- reoptimize your old content: make some tweaks in your past content in order to improve both freshness and authority. Basically, you are hitting two birds with one stone!
Here’s how to do it:
- First, identify past content posts that have generated a high number of leads.
- Then, find keywords that were used by your audience to find these posts.
- Next, incorporate these keyword phrases in the posts’ calls-to-action (CTA) button.
- After that, update the content of these posts in order to make them relevant to the current time.
- Finally, publish the posts with the new publishing date in order to appear as a new post.
1.3 Create pillar and subtopic posts
You can aim to get organic traffic fast by targeting multiple search queries. This you can do by curating multiple contents based on a single topic.
Such contents on a topic work like this- you create a pillar post that covers all basic information regarding the topic. From there, you can branch out by creating posts on specific subtopics.
For example, You can create a pillar post on social media marketing. From this pillar post, you can create content on Facebook Marketing, Facebook Advertising, LinkedIn Marketing, etc.
Creating such branched content will help you target multiple search queries and will build the authority of your sites. Thus, it will help you rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages.
1.4 Share your content on different platforms
Sharing your content on various social media platforms help you to build organic traffic apart from SEO. You can also employ paid advertising in order to build paid traffic.
Different social media platforms have different target audiences. So by sharing on different platforms, you will be able to identify channels where your target audience is at the most.
Another thing you can do- if any of your posts are performing poorly in one social media platform, distribute it on another platform. This can help you determine whether these poor performing posts can be successful there.
2. Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most important thing for any digital marketer. But it is the most confusing as well as search engines make a lot of changes to search rules.
SEO is not only confined to only finding the right keywords to target. You need to do beyond that in order to succeed in the ever changing world of SEO.
2.1 Gain More traffic by covering your competitors’ content gap
Instead of fighting your competitors for the same keyword, why don’t you find a keyword your competitors are not covering? This way, you can create content your audience is searching for but your competitors are not delivering.
To find such content gaps, search keywords you want to target and record the top results. Then using keyword tools like Ahref, place each of the top ranking links on the tool’s search bar to analyze keywords. From the results, find keywords that your competitors are not covering that much but have high search volume.
2.2 Find the right influencers who backlinks to your site
Not only influencers can increase brand awareness and lead generation, they can also help you with SEO. When influencers place links to your website on their blogs, backlinks are created. And backlinks are one of the important factors considered by search engines by Google when ranking web pages.
If the influencer you partner with is an authority figure with an active online presence, their backlinks are going to help your website’s SEO a lot.
However, make sure the influencer you partner with has the same target audience and belong to the same industry as yours. Also collaborate with them in order to make their content create backlinks to your website.
2.3 Fixing Indexation and duplication issues on your website
While it is good that Google indexes a lot of your webpages in their search algorithm, too much of something can be a bad thing. Too less indexation means your website’s visibility will be low, too much indexation may mean you have duplicate content.
Although duplicate content is not penalized by Google, it can harm your site authority. So you need to remove such duplicate content.
To find how many web pages are indexed by Google, simply run a “site:exampe.com” search. To know whether the number of web pages indexed are okay, compare the number of webpages in your content management system (CMS), e-commerce platform, sitemap, and server files with the number of search results shown. If the numbers are quite similar, you do not need to worry.
If there are a lot of web pages indexed, run a site crawl with tools like ScreamingFrog, DeepCrawl, SiteBulb etc. Identify pages with duplicate titles and consider removing them.
2.4 Make your website Voice search friendly
With the widespread use of smartphones and voice assistants like Amazon Echo, voice searches are becoming more and more common. Therefore, you need to make your website compliant with voice searches.
Voice searches are different from the traditional text search. Voice searches are more conversational in style whereas the text searches are based on keywords. So you need to do a bit of work before you make your website optimized for voice searches.
2.5 Optimize your website for Local Search Marketing
Almost all the searches on search engines are for finding local businesses. Half of these searches translate to an offline store visit and purchase! This shows the power of local search marketing.
So you need to optimize your website for local search marketing. Local SEO consists of everything you do for traditional SEO. The only additional factor is geography: you need to add keywords relevant to the city your business is operating in.
As part of Local Search Marketing Optimization, you also need to ensure that your business’s name, address, and contact information remains consistent everywhere- in Google My Business, Facebook Business Page, Bing, Yelp, etc. Inconsistent information can be viewed as distrustful by your customers.
3. PPC and Paid Advertising
Paid-per-click (PPC) and paid advertising are the most effective ways of creating brand awareness, generating leads, and creating conversions. However, trends are changing and marketers need to take note of that.
3.1 Use PPC for Targeted Keywords and keep your brand at the top
Smart marketers need to create PPC ads that specifically targets their intended audience. Using keywords targeted based on your audience intent can help you reach your intended audience.
The best forms of keywords you can use to target your audience is to use long tail keywords. Although long tail keywords are less searched, they are more specific and conversion rate is high for them.
You can search for keywords using Google’s search bar. See the suggestions offered by the search bar as well as the recommendation found below the search result pages. You can also use keyword research tools to find targeted keywords.
3.2 Advertorial + Native Advertising
Display ads can be viewed as irritating by many online users. Instead, try native advertising and advertorials that are considered valuable by users.
Advertorials are editorials sponsored by brands in a publication. The editorials mainly inform the audience about an issue and thus are seen as informative. Native advertising is the online version of advertorials and is seen as less promotional than advertorials.
Advertorials and native advertising can help your brand establish itself as a thought leader among your target audience. This will help generate awareness and engagement. And since these two forms of advertising are seen as less promotional, customers are more likely to have a better relationship with your brand.
In order to succeed, choose highly respected and widely circulated publications for your advertorial. You can make an advertorial on your own or ask the publication house to write one for you. If you intended to write one of your own, ask the publication house for guidelines.
3.3 Use Social Media ads to generate leads quickly.
People are now increasingly spending time on social media platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, and TikTok. So it is time for you as an advertiser to look beyond the usual platforms of Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. This will help you generate more leads more quickly.
However, you should not advertise on all social media platforms. Just because one brand is succeeding, does not mean yours will. Before deciding to advertise on social media, you need to find out whether your target audience is on that platform or not.
Here are some popular social media networks that you can use for your 2021 PPC ads:
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social media network for professionals and businesses. It is the best platform for B2Bs.
- Pinterest: Pinterest has a huge female user base. It is great for any B2Cs targeting female audiences.
- Snapchat: Snapchat is popular among the Generation.
3.4 Setting up Remarketing ads
On average, less than 5 percent of site visitors convert before leaving the site. Thus, you are more likely to miss out a huge number of potential customers. To win these customers back, you need to set up remarketing ads.
Remarketing allows you to place advertisements to users who have visited your site previously. This helps them to become more aware of your brand. Such remarketing also helps visitors to convert: 70% of users who have been provided with remarketed ads are more likely to convert!
Remarketing works by placing cookies on visitors’ computers after they visit your company’s site. The cookies will track the visitors and place ads on various related websites.
3.5 Optimize your ads conversion rate
If conversion rate optimization (CRO) was a nice thing to do once, it is now a must in 2021. After all, if conversions do not take place, how are you going to expect returns from your ads?
So your goal is to convert as many ad clickers as possible. In order to achieve that, you need to do the following:
- Write attractive, click-worthy PPC ads with relevant keywords and aiming for the target audience.
- Landing pages which are consistent with what the advertisement promises the user it is about.
- Carry out A/B testing in order to find out the ad that works the best for you.
4. Social Media Marketing
Any digital marketing tactics without social media is unimaginable. And your brand must have at least a minimum presence on social media. In 2021, you can improvise your social media presence to build a community of loyal customers.
Read our Social Media Marketing Guide.
4.1 Develop a strategy and editorial calendar for every social media
For any marketing venture, you need to create a strategy. Although you will have an overall marketing strategy for every social media channel of yours, you will also need to develop strategies for every individual channel. The strategies will help you measure your progress and make changes when necessary.
An editorial calendar will let you take a large-scale approach to the preparation of social media posts. It will help you to visualize and organize your ideas in a way that facilitates the execution of your social media marketing strategy. Your editorial calendar will also be a platform for everything you publish.
4.2 Write and share valuable contents to get real attention
The content you share on social media can turn your followers into loyal customers. Therefore, you need to create content to get attention on social media
But the mere posting of content will not do. You need to provide content of value to your audience. In order to do so, you need to develop content based on the goals you set in your social media marketing strategy. Then publish these content on the appropriate social media platforms.
Which social media channel is appropriate for you will depend on where your target audience is present the most. So do a proper research before selecting one.
4.3 Utilize your audience to influencer your brand
The trend of using user-generated content (UGC) will continue to grow and an increasing number of brands are continuing to use these content.
UGCs are more trusted than celebrity endorsements as they reflect authenticity and trust. Moreover, UGCs can help brand promotion and advocacy.
There are three ways to leverage the power of UGCs:
- Encourage customers to create content for a chance to get featured on your brand page.
- Run marketing campaign that motivates customers to create content as part of it
- Rely completely on UGCs for your social media pages
4.4 Use Facebook groups for building a community around your brand
Your brand might have a huge follower base on the world’s largest social media network. But if these followers engage little or do not engage at all, you cannot move them up the sales funnel.
Therefore, it is necessary to build customer engagement with your brand. Brands that have been successful in building engagement are the ones that have built a community around them.
Facebook Groups provide an excellent way to build a community of followers around your brand. Although community creation around Facebook Groups is not new, the phenomena has grown over the years and will continue to do so. So, for building a community around your brand, start a Facebook Group.
Creating a Facebook Group is not enough for community building. You also need to initiate conversations around your brand by sharing valuable content and taking part in your audiences’ conversations. Through this can you build an engaged active community.
4.5 Collaborate with micro-influencers
Influencers can play a very powerful role in social media marketing. For many brands, influencers, however, mean big shot celebrities who require a large chunk of money.
Although big celebrities have a huge follower base, micro influencers are getting better at conversions. These micro influencers have smaller followings but can build better relationships with their followers. Better relationships translate to trust that leads to a better conversion rate for your business.
So instead of wasting resources on big celebrity endorsements, give micro influencers a shot at conversion.
4.6 Use chatbot to manage huge inbox replies.
As issues of privacy arise in social media, more and more people are conducting social media interactions through messaging. It’s not only with other people, social media users are also increasingly interacting with brands through messages.
Use the power of messaging to thus interact with your audience. Reply to their Stories and answer their questions. If you have difficulties in managing interactions with so many users, consider using chatbots.
Chatbots will enable pre-made automated responses when customers place questions. However, do not overuse it. People still prefer human interaction over a computer automated one.
5. Email Marketing
Email marketing was considered dead a lot of times in the last two decades. But it is still thriving and is used for generating leads. You can also leverage email marketing to make conversions and increase brand loyalty.
5.1 Build your email list by offering freebies
Freebies are a wonderful way to generate leads. By providing valuable content as freebies in exchange for email addresses of your customers, you can quickly build up your email list.
Freebies can be a report, a three part webinar, or a part of premium content. Just make sure the freebie is worth signing up for.
5.2 Design Smart automated Email Marketing Campaign
Email automation entails providing customized relevant content at a suitable time to a specific audience or group. It uses AI systems to provide such a level of customization.
Email automation just not only helps you in personalization but also provides you with the segmentation of your email subscribers, optimization of your email subject and content, and optimization of the email send time and frequency. It can also help you perform A/B testing, whose importance you are going to learn soon.
So instead of taking automation as a technological force that will harm you, embrace it as a tool that will help you in your marketing efforts.
5.3 Send Personalized Email to maximize great value
People prefer human connection from brands and a personalized email is just a reflection of this. By personalizing your email, you can convert messages that are generic to messages that are targeted for your audience and guaranteed for sales conversion.
Do not just stop at asking for email addresses from your customers. During the sign-up process, ask them about their preferences. Use other insights like geolocation, purchase history, and third party data in order to give your customers a personalized email experience.
5.4 A/B test your Email headlines and Templates
Testing and experimentation will help you understand whether your email campaigns are working or not. Although it might take some time to find results, the returns can give you valuable insights.
A/B tests are popular when you cannot know whether your email subscribers will like a feature or not. An A/B test can help you find the successful email headline, template, and more.
But remember two things- limit your A/B tests to one thing and have large testing groups so that the results can be statistically significant.
6. Affiliate Marketing Program
Affiliate marketing programs had grown rapidly in the last decade and is expected to continue the trend in 2021. For content marketers, affiliate marketing provides opportunities for increased brand awareness, site visits, and sales.
Affiliate marketing works like this -you provide affiliates with customized links directing to your website. If any customer makes a purchase on your website through the affiliate link, you provide a commission on that purchase.
6.1 Generate sales by giving affiliate program
Affiliate marketing can be a great source of sales for your business: By creating affiliate partnerships with websites having the same target audience as yours, you can build traffic to your website. And as the target audience is the same, there is a high probability that this audience will convert to customers.
6.2 Give Extra advantage to targeted influencers
Influencers have built great relationships with their respective niches. And conversion among niches is quite high.
As content marketing is getting more and more niched, you might consider paying more attention to these influencers. You can consider paying them a greater commission as an incentive to work harder for your brand.
6.7 Monetize your blog with affiliate programs (if appropriate, earn extra cash)
If you are a blogger, you might have a hard time monetizing as you are not providing any products or services for sale. But you can earn passive income from your blog if you join an affiliate program.
Join an affiliate program whose products or services are used by you. That way, you can refer to the offerings on your blog that will not sound like a promotional clickbait. And if your blog has a high number of visitors, you can get a better commission.
7. Marketing Automation
More than 90 percent of marketers believe automation is a key to success. Automation helps you streamline your workflow, reduce efforts, and creates efficiency.
So, if you have not automated your marketing by now, then you should by this year.
7.1 Set up marketing automation tools and CRM
In order to streamline your marketing efforts, set up marketing automation tools and software. Marketing automation tools provide you with easy-to-use products to simplify specific tasks. On the other hand, marketing automation software like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can provide a comprehensive solution to your marketing efforts.
Using automation tools like Canva, Google Keyword Planner, and Hotjar helps you in graphic design, ad keyword placement, and user behavior analytics respectively. CRM software like HubSpot and Marketo helps you in various aspects of marketing like social media marketing, email marketing, and marketing analytics.
7.2 Use automated email drip campaigns
Drip campaigns are a series of personalized emails given in specific intervals. The emails are given based on user behavior.
For example: If a new user signs up, you send a welcome email. If a user views a certain product, you can send promotional email regarding the product. And if a user abandons a cart, you can send reminder emails.
Drip campaigns are highly effective and convert more. But you need to make sure the emails are personalized so that they are not seen as some computerized sales promotion.
7.3 Setup Social Media Automation tools
Chances are high that you need to use a number of social media channels for your marketing. It might be hard for you to manage all of them at once.
Social media automation tools help you post and schedule content, analyze performance based on metrics, and provide recommendations to improve your performance. It helps you to reduce time and make you more efficient.
You can set up popular social media automation tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, BuzzSumo, and Sprout Social. Most of the popular automation tools can help you manage 3 social media accounts and provide features for team collaboration.
7.4 Use Reporting tools for automated reporting
As a marketer, you might need to measure the performance of your digital marketing tactics. You will need to keep track of hundreds of KPIs, data, and strategies. You will also need to prepare reports every month for top management or for your clients every month.
Surely, it is a tedious task. But you can make it easier using automated reporting tools. Automated reporting tools help you create reports by gathering data from your marketing campaigns and presenting them in a report emailed to you.
Some of the best automated reporting tools are SEMrush, Moz Pro, DashThis, etc.
Digital Marketing Tactics are constantly evolving. What worked for one year may not work for the next. Therefore you need to keep an eye on all the trends that occur in 2021 in order to succeed.
With some of the tactics given above, I hope you all can enjoy success in your digital marketing campaigns through them. Start working on them now and your company can emerge from 2021 in a better shape.
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