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Top Digital Marketing Trends For Small Businesses in 2021

 

Let’s face it. 2020 was a doozy for small businesses. Lockdowns, mass unemployment, and an uncertain future ultimately changed consumers’ needs and purchasing decisions. Entrepreneurs had to scramble to develop strategies to continue providing quality products and services to their customers. While many shifted to eCommerce sites and other digital platforms, some failed to invest time, money, and resources into creating a strong web presence and an authentic experience for their customers. 

 

Though many local brands benefited from going virtual, continuing to overlook the importance of digital marketing strategies will result in their demise. As the competition is steep, businesses that have set themselves apart from the competition and developed an authentic relationship with their target audiences are the ones that will survive. 

 

How do they accomplish this? By working with in-house marketers or an internet marketing agency to implement trends like those listed below. 

 

Virtual And Live-Streamed Events

Despite the progression with COVID-19 vaccines, medical experts believe it could take years to go back to “normal.” Some even think things could get worse before they get better. With most consumers playing it safely indoors, the most successful brands have turned to virtual events. Whether it’s a networking event, online course, or messages from influencers, audiences gravitate towards this marketing platform. It allows them to feel connected despite social distancing and months of isolation. 

 

Community Service

Communities nationwide have been hit hard by the pandemic, leaving many issues to be resolved. Today’s consumers want to know that local businesses care about these issues. Giving back to the community will be an essential component to connecting with customers on a deeper level. Whether you sponsor a school in need of supplies, hand out free meals or essentials to the needy, or donate a portion of your sales to a local charity or non-profit organization, showing that your company is not merely concerned with sales is vital. Reach out to city officials or community leaders to find out what the issues are and how you can help. 

 

Inclusivity

Health and finances weren’t the only issues brought to light amid the pandemic; things like racism, sexual and gender bias, and discrimination became a trending topic. Millions of citizens hit the streets to protest the unfair treatment they’ve experienced with the hopes of bringing about change. This increased awareness also resulted in consumers preferring to spend their money with businesses that support diversity and inclusivity for all. 

 

Companies like Proctor and Gamble stepped up to the plate by developing commercials that spoke to significant issues within the African American community. Brands like Fenty cosmetics designed makeup to accommodate more than 40 skin tones. While these might be large concepts, the idea is to show that you care. A hashtag supporting #BlackLivesMatter or using influencers from diverse cultures and backgrounds to promote your products can go a long way. 

 

User-Generated Content

Finally, if you’re going to connect with your target audience, you must incorporate user-generated content. As the name implies, this is content like texts, images, reviews, and videos created by consumers. Often found on social media, it works to build brand awareness, develop trust, and impact purchasing decisions among your target customers. 

 

UGC adds character and authenticity to your products and services. Not to mention, most customers would rather buy from a brand they’ve heard about from another customer than through other marketing channels. It will be essential for brands to search for, encourage, and share this content on their social media platforms, websites, and blogs to connect with their target audiences. 

 

The global health and economic crisis has forever altered the landscape of business. If entrepreneurs are going to thrive, they’ll need to evaluate the changes and adjust their marketing campaigns accordingly. Implementing live-streams, community service, inclusivity, and user-generated content into your marketing campaigns shows your target audience that you’re in this together - a concept that leads to success.

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