The Biggest Digital Marketing Trends To Watch Out For In 2021

2020 has been a tumultuous year that has rocked businesses right to their foundation and back again. In many ways, these last nine months have been a painful, but invaluable learning experience that has given rise to new forms of marketing and advertising. This has allowed many businesses to stay afloat, while others have even managed to profit. 

The following year will signal a major shift in the way we do business, even as we return to a state of normalcy. What does that mean for digital marketing? Expect a number of key trends to take root and flourish in 2021, for the betterment of businesses around the world. Here’s the biggest of the bunch.

THE HUMAN TOUCH

The rise of technology was supposed to drive us further apart, but the exact opposite has happened. We have not entered the hyper-sterile, mechanical corporate future once envisioned in 1980s sci-fi films. Instead, we have leveraged technology to drive interpersonal relationships between companies and customers. The isolation forced on us by the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already-powerful need for human contact and interaction. Expect this to jump to new levels in 2021, especially as technologies continue to expand. Naturally, there will be exceptions to this rule, but it’s safe to say that companies who foster the human touch will attract customers far more than those who fail to recognize its power.

VIDEO MARKETING WILL BOOM

The rise of video-based marketing initiatives was already picking up significant steam in the years leading up to 2020, but it’s going to take on a life of its own in 2021. There’s simply no better way to educate potential customers about your products and/or services, and that means an increased drive towards sales. Similarly, instructional and/or explanatory videos have cut down customer support requests across the board by a little over 40%. The power and potency of video marketing is undeniable, and the ability to provide easy access to this content will be a must in the coming year. Companies should also take note and make sure that their content is professional, polished, and presented in such a manner as to be accessible and easily digestible. 

AUGMENTED REALITY

Various devices and platforms have already experimented with one form of augmented reality or another. This includes everything from comical video filters to smartphone camera integration, which allows homeowners to place furniture models virtually in their home in order to gauge aesthetics. The most common and recognizable form of augmented reality is the QR code, which has already become a hit with many companies selling particular products. Expect augmented reality to take on new and exciting forms not just in 2021, but beyond.

VOICE SEARCH

As customers migrate more and more to the mobile platform in order to buy and sell, voice search has become a must. Companies are now recognizing that busy buyers have no time to waste, and the convenience of voice searching allows them to quickly find the item they want, rather than fumble with a digital keyboard. The frequency of voice searching has shot way up in the last two years with an estimated two-thirds of smartphone users engaging in at least one search per day. Digital marketing companies will need to take this functionality into account when assisting with client websites in order to make sure they’re adding another layer of convenience for their customers. Being proactive is key to making your company website stand out against your competitors.

FLIPPING THE SOCIAL SCRIPT

Leveraging social media platforms to do business is nothing new, but the process is continuing to evolve well into 2021. Shoppable Instagram posts will take on a whole new life of their own in the new year, especially since the company integrated a checkout feature directly onto the app. Leveraging this function can drive plenty of customers towards your business. Facebook has taken a similar approach with their Shop functionality which has been steadily rolling out over the past year. Finally, Google Ads will continue to be a marketing mainstay thanks to Smart Bidding, a machine learning process that identifies user search behavior and geolocation data to predict whether a hit will turn into a conversion. 

These are just a few of the key digital marketing trends to keep an eye out for in 2021. Each of them are guaranteed to grow and fuse into a larger network of tools that companies can take advantage of to drive untold new levels of business and growth. For more information about how to prepare your company for the 2021 digital marketing evolution, contact Operatio Marketing today. Let us get to know your company so we can equip you with everything you need to succeed in a post-pandemic business climate.

A Case Study: The Effect Of COVID-19 On The Real Estate Industry, And How To Cope

Like many industries and economic sectors, the Real Estate market has taken a hit over the last few months as the Coronavirus pandemic swept through across the world, triggering a series of economic landslides. While the nature of the issues surrounding the world economy are unique, they have nevertheless created an anomaly in the form of a rather unorthodox recession that could last up to 2 years.

 

With government mandated lockdowns in effect, and social distancing measures put into place, there was really nowhere for the Real Estate market to go. Banks lowered interest rates, which served no true purpose, as nobody was willing to invest during such an economically unstable period. What we were left with was a housing market on hiatus, even though the Canadian government deemed Real Estate agents as an essential service.

 

One of the major hits against the Real Estate market involved the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic breakout. The spring season was effectively a wash, after estimates had predicted a record-breaking season. In February, housing sales were already higher than normal, signaling an early start to a very profitable season. That all came to a screeching halt when Coronavirus struck, and people were forced to stay indoors while businesses were shuttered (some for good).

 

To compensate, some Real Estate agents got creative by prioritizing the digital space. Virtual meetings between agents and prospective buyers and sellers became a top priority, much the same as other industries had leveraged the online sphere in an attempt to craft new ways of doing business. Open House demonstrations largely ceased in favor of virtual showings, especially after the Real Estate Council of Ontario and the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board weighed in.

 

Big cities like Toronto will weather the storm, even through the longer term, however. The mixture of limited inventory and pent-up demand means that the market in Southern Ontario will spring back much quicker than predicted, if the numbers prove to be correct. Other parts of Canada will see fluctuating results, especially when it comes to smaller municipalities largely dependent on small businesses that may, or may not have gone under.

 

As we climb out of the tail-end of the Coronavirus pandemic and enter the recovery stage, things will largely get back on track as they were before. The fallout will remain for the next 12-24 months, but it’s a great time to leverage digital marketing in preparation for the economic rebound. Real Estate agents should plan ahead when it comes to their digital presence, their websites and advertising mediums, such as social media. Planning an effective digital marketing strategy right now will help boost business when buyers regain a stable financial footing. Many are willing to buy right now, provided the market shows signs of recovery. That means lining all your ducks up in a row to take advantage of the massive consumer demand in places like Southern Ontario.

 

Having a strong social media presence is again, key to effecting an excellent digital marketing strategy. Real Estate agents work best when they’re down-to-earth, personable and friendly, which means keeping in touch with potential clients on various social media platforms is an absolute must. It’s also a great medium for showing off houses available for purchase.

 

Similarly, all social media accounts should backtrack to a Real Estate agent’s website, with an easy to access list of available homes for purchase. This is where SEO becomes an important and vital component of the process. Real Estate SEO is particularly competitive, which means getting the right digital marketing team on the job is crucial for standing out from the competition. They know the ins and outs of the SEO sphere, and they’ll work with you to push your name higher in search rankings, while continuously monitoring patterns and trends to maintain your standing. A great digital marketing company will provide tangible, real-world results that you can see via regular reports, to track your progress.

 

Similarly, Pay-Per-Click marketing can be beneficial for Real Estate agents, especially since rates are still down due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Take advantage right now, to boost your leads! Again, your digital marketing company plays a huge role here. Managing PPC campaigns can be complex and time-consuming, so it’s better to hand it off to those who understand how it fits together with the scale of your overall campaign. By tying everything together into a cohesive platform, Real Estate agents will be ready to get back to work, and put buyers into new homes.

 

For more information on how the right digital marketing campaign can jump-start your post-Coronavirus Real Estate sales boom, get in touch with us today!