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For many businesses, both small and large, 2020 proved to be the most challenging year ever to plan effective digital marketing strategies. The pandemic spurred an increase in digital consumption. This prompted startups to realign their marketing mix and focus on digital marketing as a critical tool for engaging prospective and existing customers.

Fast forward to 2021; everything seems to be on track as opposed to the previous year. Most marketers are willing to stretch their budget beyond $50.86 billion on social media campaigns. However, smart insights overlap costs alone—digital marketing without a formidable plan creates room for errors.

Optimizing your digital marketing plan as we go deep into the second half of the year will enhance your brand awareness, stimulate demand, and increase sales. Most importantly, you’ll grow a loyal customer base with consistent consumption, even into 2022. It’s all about thinking different and staying ahead of the current trends, as highlighted on this blog.

Focus On Search

Artificial intelligence is disrupting the digital marketing industry in many ways. For instance, the advances in this technology are constantly evolving search. Staying relevant is critical if your digital marketing strategies are going to pay off in 2021 and beyond. So, get informed on what is happening in the search arena.

The trends to watch out for in your plan include voice, visual, and mobile search. Consumers prefer voice search because it helps them multi-task and gets instant responses. Visual search helps them research items they hardly know anything about, including the product’s name. Implementing these trends for the first time could mean overhauling your SEO strategies completely.

Leverage Video Marketing

The proliferation of digital gadgets in the 21st century makes videos easily shareable and accessible to every internet user. At the height of the pandemic, 96% of consumers watched more videos than they did in 2019 and the previous years. What’s more, 9 out of 10 consumers would want to see more video marketing content from brands and businesses.

Many free apps and online tools can help you create quality videos for marketing needs. Moreover, videos don’t have to be for marketing purposes only. Consumers want to know more about your company. You can introduce the faces behind your brand in a video and tell their story. Remember, marketing is never about generating sales. Videos help you achieve other overarching goals, such as creating brand awareness and building a loyal customer base.

Customers Want You to Engage Them

Many businesses get it wrong when it comes to engaging their audiences on social media. There is a good reason why we call it “social” and not “marketing” media. So, if you shift your focus from running endless marketing campaigns towards creating more room for engagement, you’ll have direct access to prospective customers.

For instance, trigger conversations that allow consumers to weigh in their perspectives on new products and services. By doing this, you’ll get a better insight into their wants and needs and work on meeting them. This means going beyond automated chatbots—86% prefer human interactions—and using your platform as a customer’s dual-function service channel.

Tap Into New Audiences

Did you know that 67.9% of marketers planned to use influencer marketing throughout 2021? Well, by now, they are deep into it and probably reaping the benefits already. If you previously underestimated the value of content creators in your digital marketing mix, it’s time to rethink, research, and go back to the drawing board.

Digital influencers offer an excellent solution to ad blindness, which can increase the value of your paid marketing campaigns. Notable influencers have dedicated followers who subscribe to nearly everything they propose and advocate for. This level of trust enables a higher and more personalized engagement rate between influencers and their followers.

Alternatively, you can tap into new audiences by writing to reputable magazines and sites. For instance, write for Forbes and get the audience if their reputable subscribers. They include CEOs, celebrities, politicians, billionaires, and international entrepreneurs. Your next customer is probably in this audience, waiting for you to initiate the move and go directly to them.

Be Personable

How does it feel when you get personalized attention from anyone, be it friends or colleagues? You would want to keep on engaging these people. The same applies to your customers. They value this experience more than the cost of what you’re selling. In fact, 57% of online consumers will be more than ready to share their data with a business that gives them personalized attention. 62% don’t mind receiving personalized offers based on their purchase history.

Google will phase out third-party cookies in the next year, so you want to get your data straight from the consumer, starting as early as now. The average consumer expects businesses to anticipate their needs and offer relevant solutions even before making their first contact.

Start building intimate connections with your audience. Customers will find you more personable if you interact with them in unique and more fun ways. Essentially, this entails putting a face to your brand and making the people interacting with it like it. With this strategy, you can create customer profiles and streamline their shopping experiences.

Do Your Research and Get Profession Help

It’s wise to do in-depth research on each strategy before implementing them. It’s more prudent to get professional insight into what works for your business and what doesn’t.