Big Digital Marketing Trends for Local Businesses in 2021

13 Jan, 2021

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Few new years are as welcome as this one, fewer still will have as many people wondering what will come next. Here are some key trends to look out for in Digital Marketing in 2021. 

The Biggest Year for Local Marketing and Near Me Ever

During Lockdown businesses have had to make quick changes to their opening hours and services. Businesses with an effective local marketing and social media presence have been able to communicate with their audience and customers more effectively than those who just use  SEO or nothing at all. A business that needs to update it’s opening hours on Google results as quickly should update their Google My Business profile first before updating their website. This is so Google doesn’t have to crawl and find the updated information, saving a lot of time. 

In 2021 we expect to see customers returning to stores but the importance of local marketing will continue to grow. The transition to normality will occur in stages. Meaning bricks and mortar stores will need to keep their messaging up to date — so that when the time comes to show customers they are open for business again messaging will have maximum impact. 

Local marketing will also play an important role in drawing customers out of their houses and back into stores. While customers are still considering returning to stores, a well-placed local ad, Google Businesses post, or local event, may make the difference between customers continuing to buy online or finally making that trip into town. Local businesses also need to consider promoting facilities such as on-site parking more prominently in their messaging for local marketing. This will help to persuade customers to make that first journey. 

Google/Youtube To Get In On Audio

The podcast format proved to be highly adaptable in the past year. With more people making podcasts and listening to them than ever before and Spotify’s reporting that consumption of podcasts on their platform has doubled in the past year. Despite the assumed return to normality audio formats will continue to grow in the coming year. A key reason for this is that Google is clearly seeing 2021 as a big year for its Youtube Audio Ads. The end of this year saw Google pushing these new Ads in its blog channels. Their movement in this direction will have clearly been influenced by the pandemic, but the popularity of audio content has been growing in recent years. This is why Spotify has quadrupled its podcast library and spent big money on bringing big names onto their platform, such as the $100m deal with Joe Rogan.

We often hear about the importance of video content, and this is still a key area of focus, but whilst everyone is focusing on catching people’s eyes with busy visuals, audio formats are also growing in popularity, and this understandable, with so much of our lives, now spent staring at screens, Audio content will continue to expand, aided also by the growing of Bluetooth speakers and headphones. So perhaps 2021 should be the year when you finally start that podcast or run a few Youtube Audio Ads. Anyone considering should check this article. Youtube Ads may prove to be a good value for marketers for two reasons. Consumers are less likely to use adblockers or skip through audio ads because they often listen to them whilst doing other things, so are more likely to let a short ad play through. Second, Youtube’s modal for Youtube music is similar to Spotify, offering people the option of paying to avoid ads, meaning that those who actually hear them, are more likely to be receptive.

App Analytics 

Analytics are a cornerstone of Digital Marketing. Until now the main focus has been on website analytics. It has been possible to see whether users are using smartphones or desktop, and other browsers but the analytics for Apps has not been so readily available to businesses and this is a key reason why a website is very much the key focus. 2021 will be a big year for the buzzword App marketing, This Google has made app analytics a key feature of its latest update to Google Analytics. Most businesses will still need to spend the majority of their time on their websites but they could keep an ear out for interesting app marketing concepts as Google Analytics brings the concept to the mainstream. rankingCoach users who want to get the best out of Google Analytics just need to complete the task to integrate it into the app and combine it with rankingCoach’s award-winning insights. 

Online and Offline Shopping To Merge 

In the last year, stores with an online presence were best suited to adapting their business to an unprecedented situation. In this time, many customers will have become accustomed to new online services, and the businesses that have invested in them will want to hold onto any advantages they may have gained. When the public does eventually return to the stores downtown, we can expect to see some of those habits and preferences from the previous year continuing.

This will result in blurring of the lines between online and offline purchasing values as customers will appreciate human contact and good customer service more than ever but will also have grown accustomed to digital services like Google Pay and click and collect. So store owners need to hold onto those digital skills they have relied on this past year and continue with their online messaging. The main difference is that message is now we are here and we open for business, come on down. 

Another big trend that will continue is that people will be more open to alternatives for paying in cash. A survey from last year found a 69% increase in the number of stores using contactless paymentPeople will want to return to the shops but consumers’ will carry lingering wariness of physical contact. They will also have had more experience with digital payment in lockdown. So we will see a continued increase in the number of customers expecting to pay with contactless, and online payment methods, such as PayPal and GooglePay. 

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