This year will be the time to reinvent and reconnect. As travel restrictions lift with the help of vaccines and other technological advancements, we must rethink old methods and keep our customers at the center of every decision.
To help kick start your digital marketing strategy revamp, we’ve identified six digital marketing trends for 2021 and how to take advantage of them.
1. Shake Up Your PPC Platforms.
Incorporating new platforms into your pay-per-click (PPC) marketing strategy will keep you ahead of the curve in 2021. Google Ads, the most widely used PPC platform, revealed an increased reliance on machine learning in 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down over the coming year.
If you are actively running PPC campaigns, consider experimenting with different platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even TikTok. Identify where your target audience spends the most time and start by testing and comparing one or two new platforms.
Bonus Tip: Take this opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone by going beyond text-based ads and playing with visual elements like images and videos!
2. Digital Connections Are Genuine Connections.
Connecting with your customers actually happens long before they arrive at your business and keeping a pulse on your online presence is one of the most effective ways to keep them coming back for more. Creating a social media gameplan is essential, but understanding how to appeal to the changing needs of your customers is the most important strategy of all.
Try to approach your social media management the same way you would an in-person conversation. Listen to your customers, colleagues, and neighbors to engage in an authentic conversation based on what you hear. Be empathetic in your response and prepare to adapt your gameplan at any time. If you want to dive deeper into social listening, try a free trial of a tool like Sprout or Sprinklr to see if it’s right for your business.
3. Automations Are Your New Best Friend.
When our normal routines are disrupted, the simplest tasks can easily slip through the cracks. Give yourself peace of mind in knowing that certain tasks will always be taken care of with the help of automation. From automating welcome messages for new subscribers who join your email list to streamlining important safety and operational updates for your existing subscribers, automation tools can help ensure you never again have to worry about checking certain tasks off your to-do list again.
If you’re new to automation, start by checking out Zapier, which can connect to your FareHarbor Dashboard to enable the easy transfer of information from other tools you use to run your business. Discover how FareHarbor’s integration with Zapier can streamline your day-to-day operations and communications!
4. Search Intent Will Drive It Home.
In 2021, the quickest route to a winning search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will start by putting search intent in the driver’s seat. The top-ranking sites on a search engine results page understand what their audience wants to find. SEO fundamentals like using schema makeup and structured data and writing meta descriptions with best practices in mind have not completely gone out the window — they’re just enjoying life in the passenger seat on this year’s SEO journey.
To leverage search intent in your SEO strategy, start by analyzing what you find on the first page of Google when searching for the keywords and phrases you want to rank for. By digging into the content that already ranks well for a particular query, you will see which topics and subtopics are worth expanding on in your own content and you’ll also get an idea of adequate content length and page type. Take this trend a step further by writing content to address users’ concerns, simplifying your site navigation, and adopting an approachable writing style aimed at attracting humans first, search engines second.
5. Take Things Personally.
When you check your personal inbox, are you more likely to open the impersonal emails with generic subject lines or those that seem addressed specifically to you and answer your individual needs and concerns? We promise, your audience wants the same! One of the best ways to get personal is to use their name in the email subject line, increasing your email’s chances of being opened by 25%, according to Campaign Monitor.
Hyper-personalization takes this trend to the next level by adjusting your email marketing strategy to write different versions of emails for various segments of your email list. Leveraging data-based insights can help you create different content based on location, interests, age, and past tours/activities they’ve booked.
Bonus Tip: Try mixing a few text-only emails into your regular email schedule. Eye-catching visuals will always be an important principle of email marketing, but text-only emails can give your audience the feeling of receiving a personal email, like one from a friend or family member!
6. Virtual and Hybrid Experiences Will Stay in Play..
Whether you’re already offering fully or partially virtual experiences, or you’re still considering testing the waters, it’s safe to say the demand for virtual and hybrid experiences will remain strong well into 2021. With the safety concerns of the pandemic not quite behind us, virtual events like cooking classes and at-home crafting tutorials, and hybrid events like self-guided beer tastings and walking tours can open your offerings to new audiences and new revenue streams.
With so many options available, the best way to stand out in this growing market is by rethinking traditional virtual engagement tactics. Consider which parts of your tours and activities best engage guests and how you can adapt them to a virtual or hybrid experience. From incorporating a live stream on your social media to leveraging the newest technology for self-guided tours, there is always a new method to test! For more inspiration, check out our Virtual Experience guides on FareHarbor Compass.
When considering how your business can leverage these digital marketing trends, don’t lose sight of the most important strategies of all – reinventing and reconnecting.