4 Trends Shaping the Digital Marketing Landscape

Like any other industry, digital marketing trends can come and go, so staying up to date on the latest strategies is important to making sure your company stands out in the market. Keeping your business relevant can be tricky, but the latest trends are what is going to give you an edge over the competition. Incorporating trends into your strategy can improve your spending efficiency – you are providing what your customers want and aren’t wasting money on things they don’t want. You need to continue to learn about the newest technology, features, and strategies to make sure your business thrives. One advantage of partnering with a digital marketing company is that their insight into trends shaping their industry. If you are not confident in your ability to stay aware of industry trends, consider partnering with an expert. Here are 4 key trends shaping the digital marketing landscape in 2021:
  1. Featured snippets and no-click searches
  2. Voice search optimization
  3. Short video content
  4. Social commerce

1. Featured Snippets and No-Click Searches

Featured snippets are short pieces of text that appear at the top of Google’s search results. Also known as no-click searches, this format is valuable to readers because it quickly answers a searcher’s question without requiring them to click on a website. Instead, they can get a quick overview of a blog post, article, or data in a few quick bullet points. Here, Ties.com’s step-by-step directions on how to tie a Windsor knot comes up as the featured snippet for the search query “How to tie a tie.” Featured Snippet Example Source: Search Engine Land This is really convenient for people who need a quick answer. This example in particular clearly explains each step and includes visuals, so even in a crunch, people can learn to tie their ties properly. Because featured snippets are so visible, they can attract traffic and improve organic click-through rates. In fact, featured snippets get approximately 8% of all clicks. As a result, they can have a massive impact on a website’s SEO. To optimize your site for featured snippets, you must include a few lines of text in your content that answer a question directly. To get started, use SEO tools such as SEMRush or Ahrefs to determine keywords that already have featured snippets on their search engine results page (SERP). Consider an SEO company to also help you identify the best ways to target featured snippets for target keywords. Once you’ve identified what keywords you want to target, make note of what kind of featured snippet is already ranking. There are several different types of snippets:

  • Paragraph
  • Table
  • Ordered list
  • Unordered list
  • Video

Make sure that you create content that matches what searchers are looking for by targeting the same type of snippet that’s already ranking. >Once your content is uploaded, your site might not rank as the featured snippet right away. Like other SEO strategies, this strategy takes time.

2. Voice Search Optimization

Voice search allows users to speak into a device — rather than typing into a web browser — to search the internet. Since Apple first launched Siri in 2011, more and more voice recognition programs, such as Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Alexa, have burst onto the scene. Voice search has become increasingly popular because it’s faster and easier than a traditional search. In fact, 71% of consumers prefer to search using voice instead of typing. To meet consumer needs, it’s important that you optimize your site for voice search. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Target longer keywords. People search differently when they use voice than when they type a question into a search engine. For example, on a desktop, one might type “quesadilla recipe” to find something for dinner. But if they’re using voice, they will ask, “Alexa, how do I make a quesadilla?” Adjust your keyword strategy to accommodate this difference.
  • Optimize for local listings. People often use voice search to find restaurants, hotels, and shops nearby. Most voice search requests include the phrase, “near me,” signaling that location is important. If you are a local provider, improve your local listings by updating your Google My Business page, including your address and phone number on your site, and adding your business to local directories.
  • Create content that is straight to the point. Some voice searches are easy “Who?” “What?”, “Where?”, or ”When?” questions. In these cases, digital assistants like Siri and Alexa read from the featured snippet. Target this section by writing a direct answer to the searchers’ queries.

Over time, optimizing for voice search can help you attract and convert on new customers.

3. Short Video Content

Video is a valuable digital marketing tool that can help you engage your audience: It is versatile, easy to digest, and grabs users' attention. While video marketing isn’t new, how marketers use it has changed in 2021. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, TikTok and Instagram Reels have taken over how consumers spend their time online. In 2020, TikTok became the most downloaded non-gaming app with 100 million monthly active usersin the US alone. Additionally, the average user spends nearly an hour on Tiktok and half an hour on Instagram every day. With so many people spending a significant amount of time on both platforms, creating content is a must for businesses looking to engage with customers and build brand awareness. But this creates a challenge for marketers — how can they create content that can grab their audience’s attention in just a few seconds? Unlike other video content, like YouTube and Facebook videos, both TikTok and Instagram Reels limit the length of the videos that can be posted. Even though TikTok extended their cap from 15-seconds to 60-seconds, an analysis of the top performing TikToks in early 2020 revealed that the optimal length for a TikTok is still only 16 seconds. At the same time, Instagram Reels limits the length of videos to 30 seconds. To make sure your short videos become effective digital marketing tools be sure to:

  • Know your audience: Remember, social media users on TikTok and Instagram are generally younger. Only invest in this strategy if it makes sense for your business. If you’re a retailer targeting people in their teens and 20s, this might be a great investment.
  • Partner with influencers: Not only do they know how to create content that can go viral, they already have a following.
  • Post frequently:Like other social media platforms, how active you are on the platform can influence the algorithm that ensures users see your content.
  • Stay on top of trends:Certain songs, dance challenges, and voiceovers can go viral. Scroll through your feed to see if you can incorporate any of these for your business.

Some retailers have done an exceptional job of using these videos to market their brands online. Recently, the “Cute Sound” started trending on TikTok. To attract viewers, retailers must stay on top of trends like this. For example, Vessi — a shoe company with over 130,000 followers — used that in a TikTok video. Vessi_TikTok Source They also included a caption that quoted the audio, but added a twist at the end to make sure their content stood out, writing, “Have you ever been in love...with a sale this much 👁👄👁” Strong content like this can then be shared on other platforms as well, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

4. Social Commerce

Social commerce is an e-commerce strategy that uses social media to sell products online. Popular on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, social commerce features don’t require patrons to leave the app or website to make a purchase. As people are scrolling through any of these platforms and come across products that they like, they simply need to click on “Shop Now” to purchase them. Jolyn, a women’s swimwear and activewear brand, set up their Instagram shop showcasing some of their most popular products. This makes it easy for potential customers to make a quick purchase. Social Commerce Example_Jolyn They also include a shop feature on some of their posts. In the bottom left-hand corner of their posts, there is a shopping bag emoticon. This allows users to click on products they’re interested in and buy them immediately. This strategy is particularly effective for impulse buys because it removes a lot of the friction customers experience when shopping online. Traditional PPC ads can require buyers to click on the ad, visit your website, add a product to their cart, and insert credit card information before purchasing. With fewer steps, your audience is less likely to change their mind, resulting in more sales and a higher conversion rate.

Trends Shaping the Digital Marketing Landscape

Make your business stand out by applying trends across the digital marketing landscape into your digital marketing strategy. While featured snippets can help your site gain visibility, voice search optimization ensures that your content meets the needs of the millions of searchers using voice recognition programs. In the end, both make it easier for potential customers to find your website online. You should also invest in developing short video content. In 2020, TikTok and Instagram Reels changed the way we consume content. Make sure you’re meeting your client’s expectations by creating engaging video content. Finally, social commerce makes it even easier for customers to buy online. By creating shopping pages for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, you can increase your conversion rate and boost sales.

Need help selecting a company?

Based on your budget, timeline, and specifications we can help you build a shortlist of companies that perfectly matches your project needs. Schedule a free consultation with an analyst.

Free Consultation