2020 changed the game for businesses in every industry, forcing leaders to pivot and adapt to COVID-19 best practices before they were even set. Since it’s quite a tall ask to reflect on the nightmare behind us, LDM is turning sights forward to next year, scoping out the biggest digital marketing trends for 2021.

Overall Trends

After the year we’ve had no one knows what lies ahead, but it’s a sure bet that virtual practices are here to stay. Many companies are adopting digital strategies for a long haul, offering virtual events and more ways to buy products with fewer interruptions. Focus on what’s preventing customers from engaging with you and break down those barriers as much as possible.

An important messaging trend revolves around inclusivity and sustainability, with audiences showing a growing desire to understand who they’re buying from and whether or not companies’ beliefs align with their own. Regularly illustrating your business’s philosophies, mission statement, and philanthropic efforts could convert consumers who share those values.

2021 SEO Trends

SEO continues to play the long game with some vital milestones to hit along the way:

  • Local SEO importance – if you offer local-based services, make it your new year’s resolution to ensure your local listing is up to date. Capturing local search traffic can mean the difference between getting a sale or missing out, with tools like the Google Guaranteed Badge setting you apart from the competition.
  • Featured snippets – page one? That’s so last year. The latest hotspot is landing position zero, the featured snippet above the first organic and paid result. This coveted real estate often captures long-tail keyword searches with rich, relevant content, so make your content planning easier by writing blogs that answer specific customer questions.

2021 Social Media Trends

As the pandemic continues, social media remains a top source of connection and expression, with digital marketers finding new ways to expand reach.

  • Shopping on social – online shopping saw a huge spike in 2020 with customers buying directly from their favorite social platforms. Facebook and Instagram are paving the way for integrated tools such as Checkout, so working shoppable posts into your social strategy is key.
  • Interactive content – Quizzes, surveys, and polls aren’t new, but brands are using these interactive tools more and more to boost engagement and utilize valuable feedback and data. Customers follow you because they want to engage with your brand; try creating content that sparks opinions and excitement.

2021 Paid Search Trends

2020 saw massive fluctuations in paid search trends, as certain industries unexpectedly spiked while others plummeted. Not every business continued SEM during COVID-19, so if you’ve been out of the game for a minute, here are some ways to jump back in.

  • Video advertising – video ads continue to grab eyeballs regardless of platform, but we’re tuning into Google Ads video campaigns for YouTube. This video giant has a 90 percent market reach, so if you’re launching something new, this is the place to spread the word.
  • Customer segmentation – get niche with hyper-targeted customer audiences based on shopping habits and other demographics. This is a great way to address specific queries and patterns based on how the audience engages with you.

Shake up your digital marketing strategy this year!

We’re all ready to leave 2020 behind, and at LDM, we’re here to help you reimagine your goals and set your sights on what’s next. Work with our award-winning team to get ahead of 2021 marketing trends and make the new year your best one yet. Contact us for a free consultation!

Meet Crystal Mack

Crystal Mack is a Senior Copywriter at Launch Digital Marketing. With a master's degree in Mass Communication and several published books to her pen name, she is a self-proclaimed word nerd and staunch supporter of the Oxford comma.