Ah, 2020. What a year. It came with so many challenges from all aspects of life and business. According to Statista, “Almost 4.66 billion people were active internet users as of October 2020, encompassing 59 percent of the global population. Mobile has now become the most important channel for internet access worldwide as mobile internet users account for 91 percent of total internet users.” The human need to connect has been a necessity more than ever. Marketing innovation has sprung out from people’s unmet needs to continue with their lives by buying, selling, researching, communicating, and connecting online! Embracing this new reality and “new normal” could give you new ideas and opportunities you might haven’t looked into. How about you, what did you learn this year?
B2B Marketing News: B2B Marketer Covid Impact Study, Google Tests New Podcast Carousels, Salesforce Buys Slack, & New Podcast Data
Salesforce strikes deal to acquire Slack for $27.7 billion
Cloud services firm Salesforce will pay $27.7 billion to acquire online workplace communication service company Slack, a move seen as likely aiming to bring tighter integration between the two platforms, Salesforce recently announced. Ars Technica
Google Search Podcast Carousel Updated With Larger Graphics
Google has tested significantly larger podcast carousel images within search results, a move that if rolled out would provide marketers greater podcast visibility opportunities in Google search results, and signify the expanding role that podcasts have held over the past year. Search Engine Roundtable
Report: Advertising Bound For ‘K-Shaped’ Recovery
While traditional media advertising spending has fallen by nearly a third in the third quarter of 2020, digital advertising has been the strongest segment, rebounding to rates roughly the same as pre-pandemic levels, and is also set to account for 55 percent of all U.S. ads tracked, according to recently-released GroupM survey data. Advertising Specialty Institute
Are Host-Read Podcast Ads More Effective?
62 percent of consumers say they recall brands in podcast ads when they are not read by a podcast’s host, while host-read ads saw a 71 percent recall rate — one of several findings of interest to digital marketers utilizing podcasts in newly-released Nielsen report data. MarketingProfs
10 Important 2021 SEO Trends You Need to Know
Here are the top 10 trends you need to know in 2021, according to the experts.
Trend #1: Focus on User + Search Intent
In 2021, it’s time to focus user and search intent.
While this is hardly a new trend or concept, every year it’s important to refocus because searcher intent and behavior is changing all the time. Especially after the year that was 2020 when so much rapidly changed.
“At the core, Google (and other search engines) is a place to go when people want to answer a question or to learn more about something,” said Jenn Mathews, SEO Manager, GitHub. “When we understand the nature of why people search and help them with content that provides the answers they are looking for then our business benefits from it.”
So what does this mean for your SEO efforts in 2021?
According to Britney Muller, SEO Consultant & Data Science Student, Britney Muller LLC, it means SEO pros will need to transition away from traditional best practices that will hold less value as the algorithms get stronger (e.g., trying to write meta descriptions for every single page) and focus more on better understanding what’s happening within the SERPs/searcher intent.
Trend #2: Customer Analytics, Retention & Lifetime Value
SEO used to be (mostly) about driving traffic. But SEO has evolved into much more.
As Miracle Inameti-Archibong, Head of SEO, Erudite, noted, in 2021 you will be pushed more and more to make the traffic you have to work harder in order to close the gaps in revenue and demonstrate ROI.
So, in 2021, data on behavioral analytics will become the hottest commodity.
“With Google evolving faster and faster to give instant satisfaction, taking responsibility beyond visits, as well as marrying up UX, conversion, and revenue have become even more important,” Inameti-Archibong said. “Keyword volume will take a back seat and it will be more behavioral analytics – what your customer is doing, how they are doing it, and how we can get them to do more of it quicker – and reverse engineering that to the content you produce.”
Want an easy fix for your brand experience? Read this
Ways to Improve Your Brand Experience:
Every business has to ask itself to build a solid brand experience is the most differentiating value that their brand is offering the customers. Once this is identified, the following tips will help you in building a robust brand experience strategy:
1. Realism over pretend business:
Customer experience is dependent on how transparent your business is with the customers and how willing you are to heed to their plights. Perfectness in any business is a quintessential scenario, which takes a very long time to achieve. Hence, it is important for your business to be real with the customer rather than playing pretend. Using customer experience software, you can conveniently identify the areas your business needs to improve upon and offer the customers better solutions to enhance their customer experience.
Taking this approach, you are setting the standard for conducting honest business with your customers and gaining their loyalty along the way. Issues as little as spelling errors on a website to as big as transactional failures should all be paid equal attention to. This helps your business be grounded and offer customers intuitive solutions for their problems, ultimately improving the brand experience.
2. First impressions make or break the deal:
Your brand must create a positive first impression on the customers. First impressions are important because they paint 90% of the picture in the customers’ minds about how they will perceive your brand as a whole in the future. If you create a negative first impression on a customer, not only will the customer not engage with your brand anymore, but they will also encourage other people in their circle to not engage with your brand. This can prove to be a major bottleneck in customer retention and acquisition for businesses.
Here’s What the Future Of SEO Looks Like for the Next 5 Years
5 SEO Trends You Need To Be Watching
A lot is sure to change in SEO in the coming years.
But there are five trends worth keeping an eye on above all the rest:
1. User Experience (UX)
User Experience (UX) is a catch-all term for the overall experience a visitor has while browsing your site or using your product.
It has a huge impact on how your brand is perceived and directly affects your site’s search performance.
Deliver a poor UX and people aren’t likely to stick around on your site for long, sending a clear signal to Google that you aren’t serving searchers’ needs.
The end result? You sink down the search results for your target keywords.
For an example of how crucial UX is to your business’s success, look no further than Google’s homepage.
Here’s what it looked like in 1998:
And here’s Yahoo’s homepage from the same year:
Despite Yahoo predating Google by two years, Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s search engine provided users with a much more streamlined UX.
And Google has only continued to make its product as easy to use as possible:
It’s no wonder which company went on to dominate online search.
For an idea of what impact improving your UX could have, look no further than how much a website redesign improved Truffle POS’s SEO.
Why 2021 will be the most important year in the history of marketing
Our pandemic selves
In this little story, we see a young lady “freaking out” over the simple and normal act of a boy blowing out birthday cake candles. In 2019, we would have thought her statement to be a bit extreme. In 2020, her strange new view would be easily understood and accepted by most people.
Here’s the point. She is telling us that her “normal” behavior will never be the same again. This is no small point.
This episode is a symbol of a significant marketing trend: Our customers are becoming different … permanently different in many ways. This pandemic has been going on so long that it is literally re-wiring consumer behavior in millions of unexpected ways.
We need to assume nothing and reconsider everything. These changing habits, attitudes, and values will certainly impact
- product development
- content strategy
If you think you know your customers, think again. 2021 is a time for marketers to be humble and engage fully in “listening mode.”
Your time in the history of marketing
If you look at the lessons from the birthday cake story, you can see why I can easily claim that 2021 will be the most significant year in the history of marketing.
Classic marketing research shows that people are creatures of habit, buying the same things over and over. But there are certain gateways of personal disruption — leaving home, getting married, having a baby — where consumers are open to new purchasing habits.
Bloggers Are Worth More Than Their Links
As a digital marketer, you are probably tasked with a series of KPIs – from rankings and traffic to conversion rates and revenue.
Is it possible to have bloggers help with all these goals?
The trick is to first stop thinking of websites and blogs as simply places to acquire links. Bloggers are influencers and need to be approached as such.
As a brief primer to influencers, the full version of which you can read in the Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing, there are several components to consider:
- The primary goal you are focused on.
- The buyer persona you wish to target to meet that goal.
- The type of influencer needed that best fits the buyer persona.
- What medium best suits that influencer type.
Influencer marketing is a deep subject, which during presentations we attempt to distill down into “having someone else tell your story for you.”
But given where this think piece is published, we can make a few assumptions with regards to online vs. offline intent.
What Is Your Primary Goal?
Hopefully, you didn’t say links.
Even while addressing SEO, this is not really the goal, even if it is what you might spend a good percentage of your time focused on. SEO pros also do not exist simply to supply vanity rankings, at least not for the long term.
As with most online marketing functions, the end goal is usually high margin revenue.
How does one maximize high margin revenue? By focusing on increasing the volume of relevant traffic.
Search engines are just a convenient source of this traffic.
Who Is Your Buyer Persona?
The specific end buyer for your product or service is going to be unique to your specific situation. You can go more in-depth with cultural, social, personal, and psychological factors here but for the sake of brevity, you make some assumptions related to their technical capabilities.
Google Ads Unveils Enhancements to Lead Form Extensions
Lead Form Extensions now have features to increase efficiency for advertisers. Here are the details of these enhancements, now available in accounts.
Google Ads has announced new enhancements to their lead form extensions. These two new features should help streamline and add better controls for advertisers, while creating a lot more efficiency in creation and management leads.
What Are Lead Form Extensions?
Marketers have pushed for more ways to reach users sooner in their journey towards becoming a user. As tracking grew in sophistication, so did the recognition that touch points prior to purchase should be measured and advertised for.
Facebook Ads kicked off ad units where users could automatically submit their email without leaving the platform. This type of friction-less experience was appealing to advertisers, who were finding it harder to get users off a platform and onto their website.
Google followed suit about a year ago with a new ad extension for Lead Forms. This experience allowed users to submit their information right from the search, display, Discovery, or YouTube ad experience.
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