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  • Writer's pictureZara Lindsay-Bowman

5 Digital Marketing Trends for Small Businesses in 2021

The turbulent year of 2020 has brought about a prominent need for smaller businesses to implement stronger e-commerce and online footprints, to achieve growth as well as maintain standards as before COVID-19.

With the digital marketing sphere evolving each year and the influence that global lockdowns have placed on in-person purchasing, it has never been more important for small businesses to adjust in order to hold relevance amongst consumers.

Below, we unpack five digital marketing trends that we believe small businesses should take note of for the year ahead.

1. Interactive Content

Interactive content provides more traction on your business’ social media profiles and also gives consumers the sense of being a part of the interaction between brand and person.

One of the up-and-coming digital marketing trends with regards to interactive content is that of shoppable posts. As the past year brought about a major increase in online shopping, implementing new tools to make the consumer experience effortless and efficient, is a great way to maximise your e-commerce presence.

With shoppable posts being used on almost all major social media platforms (Instagram; Facebook; YouTube), these interactive posts become a powerful tool to create direct and easy access for consumers to be taken directly the e-commerce websites.

2. Marketing Automation

With the growth of e-commerce increasing every year, the global pandemic has increased this growth exponentially. Nationwide lockdowns have resulted in increased online consumers and e-commerce activity being far more frequent than ever before.

The use of marketing automation through tools such as chatbots has proved helpful in imitating human conversation and interaction. This creates the effect of a personified conversation, helping consumers to feel more comfortable when dealing with purchasing issues or online queries.

Implementing tools such as chatbots and auto-replies will help your business save time, as well as enable instant customer service which will prompt customer engagement, making the above-mentioned automation a win-win for both consumers and the business.

3. Voice Engine Optimisation

Voice Engine Optimisation, also referred to as voice search, has been an up-and-coming trend in the digital marketing sphere for quite a few years. Although some may be sceptical that voice search may not add as much value as other digital marketing trends, it is still one to watch. This is due to the fact that the future of digital marketing may be in having SEO optimised keywords that make connection with both text and voice search

With the rise of virtual helpers, such as Siri and Alexa, voice search has become an integral part of our online world. Because voice searching provides a quick and convenient way to browse through e-commerce websites, it would be useful for businesses to be more aware and be sure to incorporate the everyday language that would be used when voice searching.

4. Google My Business

Google My Business is a marketing tool that small businesses can make use of to further grow their clientele at no extra cost. By having an account, any business can be more discoverable and gain the confidence of the public through having a business listing with Google. Although Google My Business has been around for over five years, it is still a tool that many small businesses have not utilised to its full potential, in order to optimise a greater online presence.

Your business account will help consumers find your business with ease, through both Google Search and Maps. Google My Business also gives you the ability to control how your business is portrayed, and helps you connect with future prospects. In short, a Google My Business profile creates credibility and trust for your business.

5. Video Content

Although video content has been a prominent trend in digital marketing for the past few years, it is just as relevant as it has ever been in 2021. As a result of social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram reels blowing up in 2020, there has been a rise in the popularity of short-form video content. With a combination of relevant text combined with visual content, businesses can make use of keywords that further the businesses identity and online presence.

Long-form video content will always have a place in digital marketing. However, it is short-form video content that is easily digestible and remains in the mind of consumers, as shorter videos are usually catchy and memorable and push more engagement.

It is clear that in the year 2021 and those to follow, it is more relevant than ever before for small businesses to prioritise their digital marketing growth. With the majority of consumers working at home and the world still being in an uncertain place, e-commerce could soon be the bread and butter of our future.

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