This last year hasn’t been easy for anyone and with the effects of Covid-19 appearing to stick around longer than any of us hoped, we have been forced to change our lifestyles and adapt to an ever-changing Covid world and its restrictions. 

With a lot of businesses becoming remote and many of us starting to rely on programs such as Zoom and Google Meetings to keep connected with our family, friends and coworkers, our dependence on digital has been proved this year more than ever.

With this in mind, we can be almost certain that in 2021, this dependence will continue, as will the ways we interact with it. In this blog post, we put forward our predictions for how digital marketing will change for businesses in particular.

Local SEO

With many small and independent businesses sadly being forced to close, there has been increased push to support local businesses through this year. For small business owners, the number one piece of advice we can give is to make sure your business is listed on Google My Business. Of the many benefits it has, this ensures your business listing can be kept up to date on search engines. 

In recent years, more and more search engine users search for businesses in their local area – more commonly recognised as ‘near me’ searches. Keeping your Google My Business listing updated allows users to view valuable information about your business including services, opening hours and location (all of which are likely to have been affected by Covid)

At first, it might seem like you are restricting your business service radius, but effective local SEO will result in more valuable traffic to your site, which is more likely to convert into physical store visitors or online purchasers. 

Social Media

In 2020, customer retention has become a priority for many businesses and there are no signs of this slowing in 2021. National restrictions have changed consumer behaviour, the most evident change being that people have been spending more time online, whether it’s to connect with friends and family, for entertainment purposes and to keep up with the news, their favourite brands and new products and services.

This shift has created additional opportunities for digital marketers and business owners to increase the amount of time they spend on social media – promoting their products and services, engaging with customers and increasing their reach to new audiences.

Social media marketing has always been a proven way of increasing brand awareness and driving new traffic to websites. Throughout the pandemic, it has provided a platform for users to keep up-to-date with their favourite brands, discover new businesses and share recent updates with their friends and family. It has changed the way we find and engage with brands and this will not only continue in 2021, but for years to come. If  you are yet to incorporate social into your digital strategy, 2021 is the ideal year to do it. 

Video

With boredom levels increasing during lockdown and people turning to video content and apps such as TikTok for their entertainment, it would be naive to think that video will lose momentum in the New Year. YouTube engagement peaked in 2020 with videos seeing on average 25% more views and Instagram Live streaming has increased by 70%. 

As we are demanding more video content, its importance in business digital marketing is growing. In mid-2020, TikTok for Business was launched and has offered a new way for businesses to discover and engage with a new audience. 

The sheer number of users active on TikTok is what makes it an appealing channel for businesses. Although we aren’t sure how their algorithm actually works, it seems to be the easiest platform to get your video content going viral! 

At Colewood, we’ve got big plans to help more UK businesses build and establish their online presence in 2021. If you want more information on how we can help improve your digital marketing strategies and incorporate the channels discussed in this blog, get in touch with our expert team today. 

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