Seasons may change, trends may come and go, but one thing’s for sure — Digital Marketers will always be on the lookout for the next strategy that will change the way they do marketing. Not all will fit your brand, not everything will be suitable for your target market, but it’s good to know that there are so many possibilities and opportunities out there. Social Media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have a lot in store for us in the coming year, and SEO trends will surely continue to focus on search intent. But more than these, building relationships with your customers and letting them know that they are valued will always be a sure-fire way to face all of the marketing challenges ahead.
B2B Marketing News: B2B User Reviews, Instagram’s New Branded Reels, Writing To Reward, & Google’s Refined Smart Bidding
Instagram turns influencer branded content on its head, giving advertisers greater control
Instagram has rolled out features that will give digital marketers new branded content options for its Instagram Reels and Live products, the Facebook-owned social media platform recently announced. AdAge
Write to Reward Your Reader
The Harvard Business Review takes a look at the role and power of rewarding your reader in writing, an element that applies especially well for the material content marketers write. Harvard Business Review
Google Ads’ Smart Bidding Enhances Predictions & Insights
Google has launched updated features to its Google Ads offering, with new smart bidding to offer more relevant predictions and new insights, the search giant recently announced. Search Engine Journal
Instagram will exceed 1 billion users worldwide this year, a milestone originally predicted for 2023
Instagram is poised to top the one billion user mark this year, which represents an estimated year-over-year user base growth up from 8.4 percent to 22.9 percent for 2020, according to recently-released report data. Business Insider
YouTube Will Start Inserting Ads into Non-Monetized Content, Updates Rules Around Facial Recognition
Creators using YouTube may begin seeing ads in their non-monetized videos, a change announced in the Google-owned video platform’s newly-updated terms of service. Social Media Today
Social Media Marketing Trends for 2021: Predictions From the Pros
#1: SEO Drives Organic Instagram Visibility
When it comes to gearing up for 2021, especially with Instagram marketing, there are two things that all marketers should take advantage of: SEO and Reels.
In November 2020, it was officially announced that Instagram would become more search-friendly. Now, without the use of hashtags, if you search for a keyword in the search bar, relevant videos, profiles, and posts should populate.
This will be game-changing for marketers as we should expect increased opportunities for more reach on posts. My recommendation to take early advantage of this update is to make sure your captions include relevant keywords that will help Instagram identify what’s being shown or talked about in your post.
#2: Reels Ignite Organic Instagram Exposure
Though there are plenty of fun and fancy features rolling out for marketing on Instagram, the trend is clearly moving towards video—especially short-form video.
We’ve seen this pattern when Stories came out in 2016. Engagement and reach for feed posts decreased as Instagram moved the attention of its users to 24-hour disappearing Stories. Now in 2020, we’re seeing the same thing happen; reach is dropping for Stories and feed posts but is exploding for Reels. I’m talking 10 times the number of views you’d expect for your stories or feed posts.
The time to embrace short-form video marketing is now. Instagram Reels can be 15 or 30 seconds long and I like to think of them as stories on steroids. Reels don’t have to be intimidating. They can be as easy as talking to your camera, just like stories. What makes reels so engaging is the fact that you can add music and text to keep things interesting. My favorite is to time the text so it appears and disappears to the beat of the song, as well as using the Green Screen effect.
12 Top B2B SEO Trends & Predictions for 2021
Let’s jump right in and see how top search marketing practitioners expect 2021 to change the way we do business, and why it could quite likely be a groundbreaking year for search.
1 — A Greater Understanding of Search Intent
In 2020 we really saw advances in search engines understanding queries better and the content on the page — i.e. BERT (bidirectional encoder representations from transformers) is now used in all queries. This is helping Google, as I wrote last year, in understanding voice queries and responding to those queries but also in serving better results.
I am excited to see how passage indexing rolls out and how SEOs react and adapt, if necessary, to that roll out. The Page Experience update is rolling out in May 2021, so that should be exciting to watch as well.
Search is in a very exciting place right now, we are at the verge of really being able to understand the true intent of queries and 2021 will be an expansion of that in so many ways.
2 — The Rising Importance of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
Google has already provided some clues as to what they will prioritize in 2021 from a usability and performance standpoint: Core Web Vitals and the final push towards mobile-first indexation for all sites. There are also new Google products and features worth focusing on, such as Web Stories and Google Discover (the two go hand-in-hand); advancements with indexing video and podcast content; and improved experiences in Google Shopping and Images.
But from my perspective, the biggest overarching trend in SEO in recent years which will undoubtedly continue in 2021 is the focus on E-A-T: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. E-A-T has become a necessity for sites in many categories to perform well, but especially for YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) sites, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the rampant rise in misinformation online.
How Social Networks Drive Billions of Search Visits with SEO
While only a small subset of sites deal with these challenges, there is a lot to learn from observing how social networks excel at SEO.
In this post, you’ll learn how Facebook and LinkedIn drive billions of search visits and how Instagram has a significant competitive advantage over TikTok.
I will leave Twitter out because of their partnership with Google, but cover Snapchat’s bare potential to drive more adoption through SEO.
Ironically, social networks don’t get social traffic.
They get traffic from direct (majority), organic (second), and referral (third) channels, and rank predominantly for brand names like CNN, Walmart, and Google.
The SEO professionals at Facebook are doing a great job at growing organic traffic (33 million top 10 keywords in October).
Facebook raked in 16 billion global visits in October, of which 10.8 billion came from direct and 2.3 billion from search (data from SEMrush).
Keep in mind that this captures only a fraction of users because most use the Facebook app.
How to Come Up With Tangential Content Ideas — Whiteboard Friday
Your brand has probably used content marketing to generate awareness and engagement, but have you tried tangential content?
What is tangential content?
So to start, what is tangential content? It’s not used a ton, this phrase, but we and some others I think have kind of adopted it because there wasn’t a ton of language around it.
So the word “tangential” means lightly touching or peripheral. So not really as related is basically what the word means. Tangential content then is content that is not directly related to your product or service offering. In other words, it’s not very on brand. Maybe the opposite of tangential content is very topical content.
How to create tangential content
So finally, how? The first thing I tell people is to zoom out. If you have typically only been creating topical content in the past, you’re probably not used to thinking about your greater industry outside of your value proposition.
So I encourage people to start by literally just thinking, “What is our greater category?” So if you work as car insurance, then automobiles or transportation even. It’s like, “What would the top category in a publication be that fits your brand?” So for this example, I put time management software.
So if you are a SaaS company and you are time management software, maybe your general topic would be work and productivity. So that would be the general zooming out. Once you’ve zoomed out, then you want to think laterally. This is how we describe it.
What I mean by that is: What are all of the subtopics that fall under the zoomed out category? What are all of the other things we can talk about that aren’t directly related to our brand? So for work/productivity, I wrote down some examples of what that could be. Sorry, not work/productivity, but work and productivity. It could be either one. So just the workplace, that’s the general gist.
How to Use Your Content Marketing to Seed Your Lookalike Audiences
Leveraging content to boost your lookalike audiences on Facebook can help you get maximum impact from minimum marketing efforts.
3 Steps to Use Your Content Marketing to Seed Your Lookalike Audiences
You can follow a systematic 3-step process to use your existing content marketing efforts to seed your lookalike audiences.
1. Create a Blog Post or Topic Cluster
First, you need to create a blog post, a series of blog posts, or a topic cluster that is addressed to a specific topic.
You probably already have many blog posts written and published on your website.
Previously, you were creating blogs to improve your search ranking or to educate your audience on something.
Now, you have to achieve an additional goal which is about identifying people who engage with your content.
2. Get Traffic to That Content
Needless to mention that you need great content to attract quality traffic to your website.
When creating blog content, make sure to create multiple posts around a topic so that you can create specific groups of website visitors based on what they like to read.
3. Launch a Lookalike Audience
After you have traffic to your content, use those people as a seed audience, and then go into Facebook and launch a lookalike audience on social media to expose it to more of your ideal people.
This is how you can use your remarketing audiences to seed your lookalike audiences within social media to find more new people.
The 5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid with Content Marketing Campaign Keywords
A proper content marketing strategy, with shrewdly selected keywords, will bring you traffic, leads and revenues. Make sure to avoid these five blunders, and your rankings will be all the more likely to soar.
1. Overlooking keywords for parts of your conversion funnel
Some content marketers focus their strategies on helping people find information to help them with their research. Some want to target those who are ready to convert now. Both strategies, however, are flawed. Instead, your content marketing keyword strategy should cater to potential traffic from all stages in your conversion funnel.
People should be able to find relevant content of yours at every phase of their buyer’s journey, be it instant (think: “buy [name of your product] now”) or just gaining awareness of the problems you might solve. For example, if you run a consulting business that relates to website SEO, you should be optimizing your articles for keywords from “why SEO is important” all the way down to “the best SEO consultant for [your target market].”
That’s not all, though. It’s not enough to target all stages – each stage should organically lead into the next.
Every time your potential customer, be they an individual or a business, reads a piece of your content, they should be primed to go to the next. That’s why it’s called a funnel. Your customer may begin by trying to understand the problem they’re facing, then see that you have information on how to help them solve that problem, then understand that you’re the best option for them, and then reach out to you for a free consultation.