For many, 2019 will be remembered as the year of the ‘pandemic’. With most businesses either shutting down or operating at a greatly reduced capacity, the world was changed forever. It was a year of isolation, of closing down stores and laying off employees. But just as the world was beginning to get back to normal, Covid-19 struck again. This time it was much worse and the effects were far more devastating. The most recent statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) state that 4.2 million people globally have contracted the virus and that nearly 200,000 people have lost their lives.
Covid-19 highlighted how vulnerable many businesses are to external shocks. The ramifications of the pandemic for 2020 were unprecedented. But it was also a year of great opportunity. Many businesses were able to re-evaluate and re-tool their approach, perfecting the art of online marketing. We spoke to Aron Rashkovski, of Sanford Global, to get the lowdown on the ideal business model for succeeding in the post-pandemic world.
What Is Online Marketing (OM), And Why Is It Important For Businesses
Although many consider email marketing to be one of the oldest forms of online marketing, the term itself was actually coined in 1995. Since then, online marketing has become an important tool in every business.
The most common reason for businesses to use online marketing is to target customers in a remote area who are more likely to be interested in their products or services. It’s highly effective when used in combination with other marketing channels.
Another common use of online marketing is to generate leads. Perhaps the most effective way to generate leads is via landing pages. These are the pages that you can go to following a branded link or an affiliate link from an online ad. On these landing pages, you’ll find a small form to capture some contact details. You can then follow up with the person to explore whether or not they are a viable lead. In many cases, you’ll be asked to enter your email address to continue.
5 Trends to Keep An Eye On In 2021
Now is a great time to evaluate your business and determine how you can improve. Hopefully, the previous two years have taught you plenty, but you can still learn a lot from experts. Here are five trends to keep an eye on in the coming year.
1. Video content is increasing again. After several years of drastically reducing their usage due to the pandemic, consumers are now embracing video content on a variety of platforms once more. This is great news for video marketing and YouTube in particular. In 2020, video content grew by 23% year-on-year according to HubSpot.
This trend is likely to continue in 2021, especially since consumers are more connected than ever before. Thanks to the rise of TikTok, where users can share short videos, users are discovering the value of video content faster than ever before.
2. Mobile marketing is growing.
The trend towards online marketing is not exclusive to digital marketing. In fact, many professionals consider mobile marketing to be a subset of online marketing. Thanks to the pandemic, it was a banner year for mobile marketing in 2020. According to HubSpot, mobile marketing spend grew by 18% year-on-year in 2020.
This is primarily because consumers have shifted their spending habits to accommodate the pandemic. People are purchasing more online and from their phones. Thanks to mobile marketing, your business can target potential customers wherever they are, at any time. Whether they’re in the middle of the city, stuck in traffic, or on their way to work.
3. Small and mid-sized businesses are dominating.
For years, large businesses dominated the digital marketing world. The likes of Google and Facebook spent billions of dollars on AdWords and Instagrammers were among the first to realize the value of paid media.
However, in 2020, small and mid-sized businesses, especially those in the B2C space, began to dominate. According to HubSpot, the cost-per-click for small businesses is now cheaper than it ever has been before.
This is partly because digital marketing platforms, like HubSpot, have evolved to serve businesses of all sizes. In turn, it has allowed entrepreneurs to flourish and to grow their businesses without the burden of large advertising budgets.
4. Authentic Long-Form Content Is On The Rise.
Long-Form Content is anything beyond a typical blog post. It can be an in-depth article or some other form of content that users can consume in one sitting. Thanks to immersive entertainment content, which allows users to explore an entire ecosystem in a single video, immersive media and TikTok in particular, created the demand for long-form content. In fact, TikTok’s first original program, TikTok Spotlight, was a long-form documentary that followed NBA players as they prepared for the 2020 season.
However, not all long-form content is created equal. It needs to be well-researched and contain value to be effective. For example, a 2-minute video with average production values and no insights into the theme or niche of your product will not cut it. Instead, you’ll want to create some long-form blog posts that are 5-10 minutes long and have enough content to make it worth a read.
5. User-Generated Content is Here to Stay.
Last but not least, let’s not forget about the importance of user-generated content for businesses. This could include things like blogs, case studies, product reviews, etc. These are all great ways to establish your credibility as an expert in your industry and to prove the value of your product or service. If you can gain trust with your audience, you’ll be able to achieve great things.
User-generated content, especially when used in tandem with other marketing tactics, provides unique opportunities for marketers. By including this content on your website, you can engage with your audience through an authentic conversation rather than a one-way communication channel.
Whether you choose to use video, articles, or a combination of both, make sure that your chosen medium provides value to your audience.