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The result of businesses having to find innovative ways to maintain business continuity and profitability throughout 2020 has seen eCommerce stores popping up at an extraordinary rate. However, the disruption that COVID-19 inflicted on businesses has made it difficult for brands to stand out from their competitors across the online platform, particularly with the emerging trends in branding. The companies that are navigating this new eCommerce landscape but haven’t fully enforced a digital marketing strategy are left in a vulnerable position.
Various short-term and long-term strategies will improve eCommerce brand awareness. Paid advertising in its many forms, including pay-per-click (PPC) and remarketing campaigns, are essential for quickly gaining the attention of past and potential customers whereas SEO-focused content, including blogging and guest posting, has become a fundamental long-term strategy to build brand awareness and authority in industries. Knowing what the marketing and branding trends of 2021 are and implementing them into your digital plan will see your business rise above the canopy of competitors, flourishing for years to come.
Let’s take a look at the ways that eCommerce brands can increase brand visibility and awareness in 2021, so that you can own a robust digital marketing strategy.
In 2019, 53% of web traffic came from mobile device users. An increase in mobile web browsing equates to a rise in shopping using mobile devices, too. Developing content specific to mobile is essential to not only be seen but to provide a streamline user experience for your customers. More than 40% of users abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, making it critical to include speed optimization into the mix with readability, functionality, and aesthetics. If your web presence is not fully-optimized for mobile, this could lead a consumer to your competitors who have already enforced strong digital marketing and SEO strategy. By creating content optimized for mobile, this will improve your searchability as well as provide mobile users an intuitive navigation experience, ensuring that once your draw traffic to your website, you won’t lose it due to a slow or poorly-designed interface. Did you know you can rank your eCommerce app higher in Google Play and App Store? Optimization applies to eCommerce apps, too. App Store Optimization (ASO) can rank your business’ app higher than others in the same market. Therefore, this should be a priority in your digital strategy. By using descriptive titles, keywords, and high-quality content, this can improve your ASO.
In addition to brand messaging and tone of voice (ToV), blogging is crucial to keeping your brand front-of-mind with your current audience while simultaneously building trust and affinity. Guest posting is written content that is published on websites other than your own, i.e., Medium.com. Creating copy with SEO keywords and phrases in mind will attract an audience that is unfamiliar with your business. In time, writing articles for your website and other websites will build brand authority in your industry and generate traffic to your store. This strategy takes time but regularly creating this type of content will be a highly effective method to increase brand visibility and awareness across the web. IT organizations such as Meridian IT frequently posts to its blog as well as publishes informative articles on websites like Datamation.com and Techgenix.com.
Engaging with consumers who already know that you exist is integral to maintaining brand awareness and fostering customer relationship and retention. Email marketing has the potential to be a key influence in a consumer’s decision to choose your brand again over trying another. Segmenting your audience data and sending personalized emails, targeting individuals with the information and products they’re more likely to be interested in, will enhance user experience and increase the chances of a subscriber clicking through to your website and making a purchase.
A brand’s beautifully-curated social media account that connects with its community organically can vastly benefit further from the regular application of paid social advertising. A Crowdtap survey discovered that 64% of participants use social media to find inspiration for shopping. The ability to target your desired audience through an Instagram or Facebook ad can drive traffic to your social pages as well as directly to your website, depending on how you set it up. Tailored messaging and product targeting are important to factor in when allocating marketing budget for paid social media advertising. Using your data analytics to gain insight into what products or posts are getting traction across your social media and website will play a major role in a campaign performing well.
Pay-Per-Click or PPC is a digital advertising model that a business can implement across search engines such as Google, only paying for each time a user clicks on the advertisement. For your ad to appear on someone’s search engine results page, you have to have specific keywords aligning with what the user has searched. This means that other businesses can rank higher if their keywords better match the searched words or phrases. Ad auction is a way you can bid on certain keywords to achieve a higher search ranking. Since you’re paying for each time a user clicks on your ad, it is essential to only use keywords relevant to your advertisement to ensure ROI from your ad spend. Another type of PPC is Remarketing, which is an advertisement that retargets users who have already visited your site. With this advertising approach, your ad will appear up across various sites that your website viewer visits after your site, such as competitor sites and YouTube.
Considering 144 million Americans listen to podcasts, it is well worth keeping this brand strategy in mind if you have a creative content team skilled in creating audio content. To attract the audience that you want to convert into customers, you must think about their interests aside from what necessarily you offer in terms of a product or service. For instance, fashion brand podcasts have episodes that feature seasonal launches, but they also interview professionals inside and outside of the industry and host Q+As where listeners submit questions. The Gucci Podcast regularly features guests from famous chefs to environmentalists, and it also covers topics on artificial intelligence and sustainability in the fashion world.
A social media brand ambassador doesn’t have to have a large following, but their following might be the precise audience a brand is wanting to target. This type of brand ambassador is typically gifted products in exchange for the promotion of the brand’s products through the ambassador’s social media account. Some brands offer commission or store credit schemes, which can attract a more proactive type of brand ambassador. When choosing the right candidates for the job, this can be an effective and cost-efficient way to promote your brand and build its online awareness. The fashion brand Koa Paris is a brand that launched in 2020 and has worked with brand ambassadors to achieve its growth amidst COVID-19.
Conceptualizing a digital marketing strategy for 2021 and beyond is ultimately going to require a creative and data-driven approach, leveraging the latest technology and software that we’re constantly gaining access to. With the help of your marketing team or by outsourcing to experts in the field of digital strategy, you can start implementing some of these techniques today, like writing a brand blog, and begin planning other projects that require longer preparation time, like starting a podcast. With consistency and time, these digital strategies and branding trends of 2021 will make your brand unforgettable.
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