2021 is fast approaching, which means it's time to start thinking about new trends in digital (or also called digital) marketing. In 2020, we have seen sweeping changes in digital marketing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it looks like 2021 will bring a lot of changes as well.
For every business that wants to thrive in this age and time, an online presence is a must.
Although the Internet has done a lot in connecting networks all around the world, mobile devices have taken this connection to another level and provided an avenue by which day-to-day activities can be executed with ease.
These days, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the e-commerce sector experience a general rise in revenue due to the ease with which people could get products delivered to them.
Realizing the Importance of Digital Marketing
Of course, these e-commerce brands didn’t just put their businesses on the Internet and expect that people would just stumble on their business.
To emphasize how much marketing and advertising are important to a business, Amazon, the biggest e-commerce brand in a lot of countries today, spent up to 18.88 billion US dollars on marketing in 2019.
According to Amazon, the bulk of their marketing budget was allocated to Television ads, targeted online advertising, and expenses incurred on marketing staff.
They noted sponsored search, social and online advertising, third-party customer referrals, and TV ads to be their most substantial marketing channels – most of which are digital.
Popular Digital Marketing Tactics Used till Date
Knowing how important digital marketing is to a business, explained below are a number of digital marketing strategies which can are commonly used today:
1.Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
One of the goals of every business with a digital presence is to be seen more often on the Internet. What better way to then achieve this other than ranking high in search engine result pages?
SEO practices adjust a webpage and its content so it can rank high in search engine results when specific queries are searched for.
There are three major ways by which SEO is achieved and all are deemed necessary to achieve quality results. They are explained briefly below.
This type involves optimizing the content (text and images) on a webpage to achieve the desired results.
This includes keyword research, adding alt tags to images, adequate use of all heading tags, etc.
Despite the fact all web pages are crawled by robots, it is strongly advised that webmasters curate content targeted at humans, not stuff specifically aimed at getting them ranked ASAP.
As the name implies, all activities done in this regard are executed “off the webpage”. Here, the major factor that contributes to your website ranking is inbound links to webpages on your website.
These links also referred to as “backlinks” can be gotten through guest posts on websites with some authority in their niches.
The backlinks should be linked through anchor text relevant to search queries your website wants to rank for.
This has a lot to do with the backend composition of your website. Here, the deciding factors are, but not limited to file optimization, text-to-code ratio, and image compression.
These are factors that, if we’ll put them to use will significantly increase website load speed – an important factor considered in Search Engine Rank Positions (SERPs).
This involves the curation and promotion of content with the aim of increasing brand awareness, increasing traffic, generating leads, and eventually converting them to customers.
These content assets are often distributed in the form of blog posts, infographics, Ebooks, and whitepapers.
Social Media Marketing:
As the name implies, this involves utilizing social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc to promote content and gain customers.
There are various strategies that can be employed under this method and they include the use of hashtags, running sponsored ads, etc.
Pay Per Click (PPC):
This is a way of driving traffic to your website by paying an advertisement publisher every time a person clicks your ad and lands on your website.
Google Ads is a common ad publisher that displays ad content at the top of Google’s search results. Other ad publishers you can use are Facebook ads, Twitter ads, and Sponsored messages on LinkedIn.
Affiliate marketing is mostly used by people that have a particular product or service to sell at that point in time.
Here, a person is paid a certain commission for every successful sale that arises from the advert the person made on the seller’s behalf.
Use video advertising
With platforms like YouTube and TikTok, and features like “Stories” on Instagram, video continues to become increasingly popular for advertising.
Video ad spend will increase to $ 14.89 billion in 2021, according to research by eMarketer In fact, a third of shoppers will buy an item after seeing a video ad. This shows the influence that videos can have on buyers' decisions.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook, which were once focused on photos, have now turned into streams filled with videos. Advertisers have found that videos are much more effective at getting customers to convert.
Studies show that 76% of adults in the US, UK and Australia have purchased a product after watching a video.
Video ads are especially useful for interactive products such as makeup and toys.
The video allows companies to really highlight the benefits and features of their products, which explains the big push towards this tactic.
Despite the proven effectiveness of video marketing, many businesses still do not use this tactic. This means that if you add video marketing to your own marketing strategy, you may be able to get a leg up on your competition.
Many companies shy away from video marketing because of the huge upfront cost of producing video content.
Sure, it might not be as affordable as taking a quick photo and posting it on your business Instagram, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.
Video also gives you a better chance to convey your story. It can be difficult to get your point across through a photo or text, but using video allows you to tell stories through both sight and sound, making it easy to connect with your viewer on the shot. emotional.
Slowly start adding videos to your various social channels, such as Instagram and LinkedIn. Give them a few days, then see how these videos work. If you notice an increase in engagement or views, consider making video marketing a substantial part of your 2021 marketing plans.
Aside from these methods mentioned above, there is also Native advertising, marketing automation, email marketing, online PR, inbound marketing, sponsored content, etc.
Tools needed by every Digital Marketer
To execute the methods of digital marketing explained and outlined above, digital marketers need to equip themselves with the right tools for the job. Explained extensively below, are a number of them:
The mere fact that the average digital marketer would most likely be working with a customer’s or organization’s data is the more reason why security tools, just like every other tool should be given high priority.
It is no news the number of cybersecurity threats faced by Internet users on a daily basis. In fact, a study from the University of Maryland, United States put the frequency of attack attempts at an average of 2,244 times every passing day.
Without further ado, below are some of the security tools every digital marketer should have on their devices to keep them safe from malicious attacks:
Antivirus software is perhaps the most important security application every device that connects to the Internet in this time and age should have and the reason is simple.
These applications help prevent malicious content from getting downloaded or executed on a device.
These days, antivirus software solutions come with extensive protection measures such as periodic scans, quarantine/sandbox, and total deletion of harmful content.
Antivirus protection also comes with add-ons such as Ransomware Shield, Real Site detection, Coupon code delivery, Remote Access Shield and so much more.
There are tons of quality antivirus software available on the Internet so look through and pick the best for your needs.
A random Google search might show everyone the way VPNs work but unless this search is targeted, it might not show how this might be of benefit to a digital marketer.
With regards to device security, VPNs encrypt network traffic data preventing hackers from intercepting sensitive information and using it for their malicious activities.
Another security benefit VPNs provide is the opportunity it gives digital marketers to conduct research on their competitors without tipping them off.
Although this is mostly used in enterprise settings, the importance of this software cannot be understated.
Although older firewalls were simply for opening or closing traffic flows, newer ones have been developed to match the complexities of recent threats which can easily get past the security architectures of older firewalls.
The modern firewall software identifies authorized users of a network, blocks out unauthorized ones, and even protects against newer viruses.
Encryption software is necessary for protecting system drives from compromise either remotely or on-site.
Windows PC users can utilize the whole-disk solution provided by Microsoft Bitlocker while Mac OS users can utilize theirs, FileVault.
There are however several other file encryption tools available on the Internet for download. Be sure to read reviews, check system specifications, the features it offers before deciding to settle with any one of them.
CONTENT MARKETING TOOLS
The most important approach to selling a product or service is by creating great and original content. Because of digital marketing, you can use images, texts, and videos to drive engagement with your clients’ products. Below, you’ll find the top tools for content marketers.
Text is a great way to pass your message across while advertising. However, in the digital marketing world, videos are observed to perform better.
Marketing an item with a short video gives your audience the aura of watching a mini-movie, ensuring they engage with the content better.
The service that Biteable provides lessens the difficulty associated with creating videos. With this tool, you can create a video that outlines all the key benefits of your product in a minute or less.
Biteable has some templates and music tracks that you can incorporate into your video.
Even if you’re new to creating videos, Biteable’s interface simplifies everything for you.
Apart from videos, infographics help to present information in a brief and precise manner.
An article that would normally take hundreds of words for a clear explanation can be summarized in a single infographic.
Since infographics are like images, they’re bound to capture the attention of your audience better than texts. Using an infographic on your website also discourages plagiarists from copying your content.
Visme is a tool that eases up the process of building infographics for content creators. You can choose from any of the numerous templates available on its platform.
Its templates are designed to drive customer engagement and its infographics can be downloaded or transferred using encoded links.
Plagiarism is a very serious offense that can destroy the reputation of an individual or firm.
For content marketers, checking texts for plagiarism is very important. Even if you constructed every single word from your head, it could match up with already existing content on the internet.
Copyscape is a plagiarism checker that ensures your content is not duplicated. It scours the web, trying to find word matches. If it doesn’t, it means your work is original and you can retain full rights to your content.
If a part of the text is plagiarized, it highlights that section so you can make changes. Copyscape also provides a service where you get notified if your content is plagiarized.
MARKETING ANALYTICS TOOLS
To properly break into your niche, you need to understand the behavior of your visitors. Marketing analytics gather data about your visitors’ relationship with your website, making you understand where you need to make changes.
Read up on the best marketing analytics tools in the digital marketing space.
Woopra is a tool tailored for businesses in the e-commerce space. It provides analytics to show the particular issues driving potential customers from an online shop.
For instance, the tool gets data about why a visitor abandons a cart or leaves the website. Since it tracks each visitor, it tries to find a pattern that leads up to exiting the shop.
It presents the data in a way that shows you the exact pages visitors left your website. The data it provides is easy to understand by anyone.
Based on this data, it also provides recommendations on what you should do to improve your conversion rates.
Google Analytics tool is possibly the most popular analytics tool for websites. It helps to analyze information about visitor behavior.
Google Analytics performs various functions like displaying the number of visitors to your website, the pages they land on, the average time spent on your website, and which search queries led them to your blog.
In short, this tool covers visitor behavior for all website niches. E-commerce websites can also utilize it for tracking conversions and happenings to understand customer engagement.
With this amount of data, you’ll have better insight into the pages or content you should concentrate on.
Once you get started with Google’s Analytics tool, it becomes addictive quite fast. You’d most likely check for data about your website every day.
Clients with a robust budget might be willing to use the money to gain brand awareness quickly.
Some tools help simplify the process of running adverts. Other tools like Google AdWords also drive loads of visitors to your website even if you’re just starting.
Google AdWords is an advertising service to get more visitors and potential customers to your website.
It places your ad on its search engine result pages. Depending on what your business needs more, you can choose to pay for an action a potential customer takes.
Google AdWords is a great tool for popularizing your services to a lot of people. For one, the service is highly targeted because it displays your website at the top of a search result page once a keyword associated with your ad is searched.
For instance, if someone searches ‘Best Auto Shop in California’, your website would show up as one of the first results on the page.
If you want to target potential customers better, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool gives you information about the keywords that people search most on Google’s search engine.
Tracking all of your adverts on social media platforms could be quite tasking. AdEspresso eases up this process by providing you with feeds in real-time from all your ad campaigns.
This tool also provides insights on areas you need to make changes in so you can get high engagement. AdEspresso can be integrated with platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Google.
Seach Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is highly needed by digital marketers for organic traffic and brand awareness. However, it is a complex compound made up of several pieces. Fixing each piece in its rightful place is a job that can only be handled by certain tools. Below, you’ll get the best tools that can simplify search engine optimization for you.
This search engine optimization tool is highly useful for businesses that want a high, organic ranking. If you don’t want to spend money on advertisement services like Google AdWords, Ahrefs is the tool for you.
Ahrefs is one of the leading tools for performing backlink analysis. It indexes a wide range of websites and crawls several billion pages every day.
Digital marketers that work with websites use Ahrefs to discover ways to boost ranking.
Analyzing your competitors’ backlinks can help you create a roadmap on the steps you need to take.
For instance, if a competitor with a high ranking has 300+ high-quality backlinks, you’ll have to get more to rank higher.
Ahrefs goes beyond backlink analysis and offers keyword research tools and website checks. However, most people that use the service try to get data about backlinks in their respective niches.
This tool also contains a feature that allows you to track and compare competitor ranking against that of your client’s.
HubSpot is another search engine optimization (SEO) tool that can rank your client’s website high in search rankings.
The advantage of HubSpot over other SEO tools is that it’s tailored for improving visitor engagement and conversion rates.
HubSpot contains a feature that helps with creating content for search engine traffic. It is a content strategy tool that simplifies the process of ascertaining keywords and appearing high on search engine result pages.
This platform also integrates SEO with calls-to-action, chatbots, website forms, and pop-up forms. HubSpot is so versatile that it allows you to insert information about leads into its customer relations management (CRM) tool and run email marketing campaigns.
With all these features comes an accompanying price tag. The downside associated with HubSpot’s numerous services is its cost.
To use any of its SEO tools, you’ll need to pay $560 every month which might not be affordable for small-scale digital marketers and clients.
If your focus, however, is converting your leads into customers, HubSpot will prove to be a prominent tool in your arsenal.
Yoast is another popular SEO tool that allows you to optimize your content so it can rank high on search engines. This program can easily be understood by anyone, even if you’re new to search engine optimization.
Yoast plugin instructs you on keyword placement, allowing you to fix keywords strategically.
You’ll get alerted if you haven’t placed enough internal links in your content. The tool also evaluates the readability of your content.
The plugin is available on WordPress, a platform for hosting websites. Although it is free, you’ll need to subscribe to one of its premium plans if you want to use it on multiple websites.
It should be a no-brainer at this point that digital marketing is very important to every business regardless of size.
As emphasized earlier, just as digital marketing tools are important to achieving marketing success, so are security tools.
There are several tools on the Internet to pick from and a number of them are also mentioned in this article.
Be sure to make extra research and pick based on your marketing and security needs.