Digital marketing remains on every business owner’s mind as a new year slowly unfolds. But with so many different tactics to choose from, it can be rather difficult to know what might work and what might turn out to be nothing more than a waste of resources.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular, trending, and relevant digital marketing strategies you can use to grow your startup.
Let’s jump right in!
Influencer Marketing (with a Twist)
Working with influencers is hardly a new tactic, but it’s certainly one that holds plenty of potential. Over the years, influencer marketing has gone from virtually unknown to incredibly popular. Now, there’s hardly an industry left that doesn’t boast its own set of online influencers.
The most important aspect of working with influencers in 2021, however, is identifying your target audience and understanding whose personality will work best for them. You don’t want to work with someone who holds no sway over your ideal customer.
Another important trend to consider is the rise of the micro-influencer and how these smaller communities with trusted voices can help you amplify your brand’s online presence.
When working with an influencer, consider much more than their mere follower count. You want to work with individuals who believe in your brand and who will promote it wholeheartedly, rather than those who will take your money (and everyone else’s money) and promote anything they can just to earn an extra buck.
The Rise of AI
AI has slowly but surely crept into nearly every aspect of business, and digital marketing is no exception. You can use it to:
- research your audience, analyzing its digital footprint and online behavior
- compare campaigns
- analyze trends in your industry
- craft emails and even copy
- help you make the most informed decisions based on the largest amount of data possible
However, it’s important to understand that of the thousands of AI-based digital marketing solutions out there, some will simply not work as well as others. Do your research carefully before you choose a tool for your researching, analyzing, or promoting purposes. Get to know the parameters the AI needs to perform at its best as well as you can. This will help you feed it the right kind of information, which it can then utilize to provide valuable insights.
Email Marketing (an Oldie but a Goodie)
Even though plenty of flashier digital marketing tactics have appeared over the years, email marketing is still going strong. That’s mainly because of the simple fact that we all tend to check our email several times a day.
Email is highly personalizable, and given the fact that it can be perused at the recipient’s own leisure, it makes for the ultimate point of contact with your audience.
The sooner you start to build your email list, the better. Don’t forget the one key element, though: quality content and relevant offers.
Segment your email list as much as you can. Tailor your emails to specific interests and needs, as opposed to sending out one mass email that is expected to convert everyone and anyone. Invest time in researching your audience and coming up with email copy and visuals that are likely to appeal to them.
Paired with good timing and frequency, emails that offer their subscribers actual value are the way to go. To make sure your campaigns don’t result in a lot of unsubscribes, you’ll also need to test how often your specific audiences prefer to receive emails.
Content Is Still King
You may find the phrase highly irritating too, but the fact remains that quality content is the true cornerstone of any successful digital marketing strategy. It enables you to further build emails, social media ads, backlinks, and anything else that comes to mind. If your copy is poor, you will have a difficult time promoting it.
Read up on copywriting best practices and start crafting your own digital voice. You want to be recognizable and unique, but most of all, you want to be true to yourself as a brand.
Writing quality copy often comes down to being honest. Yes, there are hundreds of tricks of the trade you can try, and there are hundreds of ways to hone and polish your craft. But as long as you truly believe in what you’re saying, the results are much more likely to be what you expect of them.
Video Killed the Radio Star
Video marketing has been on the rise for years, as it’s much easier to digest than blog posts, case studies, or how-to guides.
By adding video to your digital marketing arsenal, you will be able to better appeal to an audience that specifically wants to watch and listen instead of read. However, there is a catch here.
If you choose to rely on video too heavily (for example, on your landing pages), you will also likely be alienating a part of your audience. These are the people who still want a chance to read through what you have to offer, come back to the main points, and skim and skip at their leisure. The one downside of video is that you can’t skip back and forth as easily.
By coming up with a balance between your written and video materials, you will be embracing the best of both worlds, allowing you to truly capitalize on the video marketing trend.
Voice Search and Voice Shopping
As voice search becomes more sophisticated and easier to use, more and more searchers are relying on their Siris, Alexas, and Google Assistants to help them find the information they’re looking for online.
By optimizing your website for voice search, you will be catering to this hip new audience. It’s an audience ready to step into the future and embrace the hands-free surfing experience voice search provides.
Voice-based shopping is also a trend that we’ll be seeing more and more of. That’s why a straightforward checkout process that can easily be controlled via voice is another optimization step you want to consider – if not in 2021, then certainly in the years to come.
To make your copy voice-friendly, you want to:
- Stick to a conversational tone.
- Provide clear answers.
- Focus on long-tail keywords, as this is what will help a voice search come up with your result.
Lastly, keep in mind that most voice searches come from mobile devices. That means you’ll also need to ensure your website is truly mobile-friendly and ready to cater to an audience on the go.
Trends in digital marketing come and go, but what stays the same is the importance of quality over quantity. Algorithms are becoming smarter, users are getting to know the algorithm better, and personalization is conquering new heights. With all of this in mind, you want your online presence to be of some value.
There are hundreds of shady and questionable digital marketing tactics you can try that promise to yield fast results. However, if you choose to forgo the quick fix and instead invest your resources in building a solid foundation for your campaigns, you won’t have to worry about algorithm updates. You will be able to sleep soundly knowing your strategy to grow your startup will not backfire.
|Sarah Kaminski is a freelance writer and social media marketer. She works with a number of small businesses to build their brands through more engaging marketing and content.|