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Digital Marketing Trends for 2021: Your Complete Guide

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One of the tragedies of the business world is that professional, innovative, cutting-edge companies fail simply because no one ever hears about them. They got everything right – except the marketing. And without making use of savvy digital marketing, any product, service, or brand is essentially rendered invisible.

In Essex, the digital marketing landscape is relatively new, relatively impressive, but with huge potential for further growth and development. With the EU and the US largely driving the market, it’s up to the best digital marketing agencies in Essex & the UK to pick up on digital marketing trends developing around the world – implementing them domestically for the greatest impact.

And it’s up to you, as a new business, to pick the right marketing partner to take your brand to new heights in 2021 – already billed as a boom year for businesses after a rotten 2020.

In what follows, we’ll provide you with a nice, wholesome introduction to:

  • The Industry. What successful digital marketing is, and what it looks like.
  • The State of Play. How the Essex market remains unsaturated – and why that’s good news for your firm.
  • The Price Tag. The difference between free and paid forms of marketing.
  • The Methods. The on-trend ways in which you’re going to go about marketing in 2021.
  • The Agency. Why working with a leading digital marketing agency in Essex or a web design company Essex will add jet fuel to your campaign.

If we’ve done our job right, you’ll emerge with the firm belief that savvy, expert digital marketing interventions are the way to outcompete your UK rivals next year.

Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs

If you’re here to learn the top trends for Essex’s digital marketing industry, and you’re well-versed in digital marketing, scroll down to The Methods section. But you should keep reading if you’re keen to learn a little more about marketing opportunities in the Essex & the UK market, and the potential ROI you’ll see from engaging in digital marketing.

The Industry

Last year, the size of the digital marketing industry overtook that of print and television combined, heralding the beginning of the digital-first marketing epoch. It’s really not hard to see why:

  • One-sixth of global retail sales were made online this year. That’s predicted to rise to nearly a quarter by 2023, and an almost unimaginable 95% by 2040.
  • That means that by next year, total online retail purchases will amount to $4.9 trillion. That’s about the same size as Japan’s GDP. And that’s just products purchased – not services provided or booked online.
  • The digital marketing industry’s valued at around $50 billion. A decade and a half ago, it barely existed.
  • Why’s it ballooned so large? Because around 18% of companies that engage in digital marketing see a $70 ROI for every dollar they invest. More than 80% see a five-fold ROI.

Whether your business sells important products throughout the UK, or you’re marketing for a hospitality business in Essex, you need to portion off some of your overall budget for digital marketing. It’s no longer optional; it’s a matter of survival.

“People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction.” – Brian Halligan, founder & CEO of HubSpot

The State of Play

There’s really no point searching for marketing trends from Dubai when the situation is so different here in the UK. What’s cutting edge in Abu Dhabi is probably old hat in London or LA. What’s driving engagement in Essex just won’t work in New York – and vice versa, of course.

It’s worth acknowledging from the outset that digital marketing in Essex is a little less developed than in Europe and North America. You’ll get why: the UK remains a fairytale of recent development, but there are far fewer people and businesses here than in Western markets. Any web design company Essex knows that they’re able to deliver more to their customers for less when they work in the UK.

This is great news for UK businesses: it means the market is far from saturated. The potential ROI on digital marketing projects in Essex is huge. That’s due to these factors:

  • With fewer businesses advertising on the Google.co.uk domain, you’ll pay less for high-reward advertising
  • There are fewer companies in the UK doing what you do. Boosting your Essex SEO should be easy, with the right marketing partner.
  • Many businesses in the UK only digitized in 2020 due to the pandemic. They’re still finding their feet online. This is your chance to pounce and capture their market share
  • The best digital agencies in Essex are always keeping an eye on what’s working best in other markets – to bring those insights to the UK.

And then, there’s this super-quick data that it’s worth you chewing over before we commence our deep-dive into the technical side of digital marketing:

  • Internet penetration in the UK sits at 99.5%.
  • It’s the same for social media penetration: 99%.
  • In the UK, 96% of consumers own smartphones.
  • 92% of those check their social media every day on their mobile.
  • And 75% of all those with smartphones in the UK regularly shop online on their devices.

These statistics reveal a market absolutely primed for savvy companies to market to consumers in the digital space. Our web design company Essex is keenly aware of the opportunities for firms to excel online. Let’s see how you’ll do it.

“No nation has embraced e-commerce and e-government with greater enthusiasm than Essex. Such innovations have given Essex a competitive edge.” – Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair

The Price Tag

Righty-right, enough with the data and the statistics – let’s get down to business, shall we?

Specifically, and crucially, you’re wondering how much it costs to launch a digital marketing campaign in Essex. You’re willing to budget for a campaign – you just need to know how much you should set aside for it.

Unlike other business investments – like, for instance, the cost of building a new website for your Essex-based company – investing in marketing comes with a discernible ROI. You’re not dropping £10k into the ocean without any nibbles on your bait. Actually, you’re pretty much guaranteed a feeding frenzy.

Essex marketing agencies should give you a ball-park figure from the get-go regarding your ROI. We certainly try to. That way, you’ll know what you’re letting yourself in for. We’re actually used to telling firms to expect web traffic and trade to peak to such an extent that they should put in place the infrastructure to enable them to scale at speed. You know your marketing drive’s successful when you’re forced to level up your firm to keep up with demand.

The best way to optimise your marketing investment for maximum impact (and a big, juicy ROI figure) is to carefully purchase ads and marketing services you feel will be most valuable for your brand, assembling a bespoke strategy targeting certain consumers with certain marketing materials. Select on-trend marketing techniques and strategies for the best results.

We can separate overarching marketing costs into two general categories:

  • Labour and expertise. Unless you enjoy the luxury of an in-house marketing team, you’re going to have to outsource to a trustworthy digital marketing agency in Essex. You’ll pay for their knowledge as well as their labour.
  • Advertising costs. Certain online marketing is made for the layman – like Google, Facebook, and Amazon promotional campaigns. You can leave this side of your marketing drive to the professionals too – or take a course to have a go yourself.

Meanwhile, you can perform certain digital marketing tricks for free – and if you’ve got a spare member of staff knocking around to experiment, you should introduce them to these FOC marketing techniques:

  • Social media marketing. It’s free to set up an account on all social media sites. And you’ll pay an hourly wage for a social media executive to monitor your channels and engage with your customers there. There’s massive potential for vitality (read: giant free exposure) if you hire a smart social media exec.
  • Website promotions. Any content you upload through your CMS interface on your website is obviously free and has the potential to enchant your site visitors. Don’t have CMS on your website? We can help with that.
  • Email marketing. We’ll look at this in more depth later, but you should make sure you’re collecting the email addresses of your customers at every opportunity. It’s free to send them an email with an offer, a coupon, or a handy reminder that you exist.
  • Web Blogs. Finally, have you noticed that most websites maintain blogs? Have you ever wondered why? It’s because a blog is an extra entry point for consumers to find your website – and thus your products and services. Plus, every word and image published on your blog will boost your SEO.

That’s your complete digital marketing overview. Excluding the services of a web design company Essex, which will handle SEO in the back-end code, those are the kinds of tasks you’ll be managing in your marketing drive. The rest of this guide will show you which digital marketing trends to engage with in Essex.

Saddle up, strap in, and/or settle down: here are the methods we recommend you concentrate your marketing spend on in 2021.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Peter F. Drucker

The Methods

Our web experts at our web design company in Essex and digital practitioners have been in the marketing game for a long, long time. They know how to spot a trend.

Trends develop in marketing as a result of two factors: they’re either returning impressive ROI figures, or they’re developing in a new space that on-rushing companies can make their own at the expense of their competitors (we saw this most clearly in the shift to social media marketing that took place in earnest about seven years ago).

It makes sense for us to separate our recommendations into these two larger categories. So, we’ll begin with old stalwarts of the digital marketing scene that continue to deliver, and we’ll conclude this guide with the newest, flashiest, and most exciting marketing innovations to be hitting Essex in 2021.

The Best Digital Marketing Techniques in Essex

Those of us who are long in the tooth when it comes to running marketing campaigns in Essex know where marketing departments are wasting their money. Paid banner adverts are a great example of foolish marketing expenditure: they have a terrible ROI, and they frankly look tacky.

We’re equally aware of what techniques have worked incredibly well in 2020 – and will continue to deliver in 2021. They are:

  • Targeted Social Media Marketing
  • Local Listings and Review Boosting
  • Email Marketing
  • Video and Content Marketing
  • SEO and Organic Search

We’re going to break these down briefly to explain exactly why we’ve tipped these five forms of marketing as the best in Essex for 2021.

Targeted Social Media Marketing

Social media engagement is higher in the UK than in nearly every Western state. Essex businesses have been taking to social media for some time to share their wares – but in 2020 that shift hit hyper-speed as a result of the coronavirus.

“Focus on how to be social, not how to do social.” – Jay Baer

 

Data from 2019 proves how valuable good social media marketing can be for businesses. Some 43% of businesses enjoy a notable bounce in their web traffic from social media. Meanwhile, 64% of shoppers say social media videos have influenced them into making a purchase. The impressions you generate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can mean mega-bucks for your business.

Our top tips for social media marketing in 2020 include:

  • ALWAYS target your posts. You know how diverse Essex can be. You’re looking to advertise to the people that matter to your firm.
  • Use Instagram and Twitter. These are the two most popular social media sites for wealthy UK residents.
  • Content is King. Sharing text isn’t enough. Essex residents expect videos, animations, and infographics. Appease them.

Local Listings and Review Boosting

Are you listed locally? If you’re not, get listed right now.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a brick-and-mortar store or a totally online business. Listing your business online in Essex means consumers can see how customers have reviewed your products and services. And that means they can decide if you’re worth doing business with. 84% of online shoppers in the UK rely on positive feedback to buy products. No wonder so many firms are scrambling to improve their online reputations.

To boost your review score on Google, offer customers a small reward if they leave you a rating. This is best organised through an email campaign.

Email Marketing

Honestly, we can’t get enough of email marketing. An estimated 205 billion emails are sent every day, and the best ones encourage consumers to spend, spend, spend. How do they do it? We go by Eric Miller’s advice – an expert in consumer attention online.

“Keep it short. No one reads more than the first paragraph. You have 10 seconds, make it count.” – Eric Miller

Services like MailChimp and HubSpot help time-sensitive businesses keep spinning hundreds of emails out to subscribed existing customers – with automated emails and replies a standard part of their CRM solution. Email marketing is currently regarded as the best form of marketing, in terms of ROI, for eCommerce businesses in Essex. The reason’s simple: consumers who’ve already traded to you are more than twice as likely to trade with you again if nudged to do so.

Video and Content Marketing

Over 60% of marketers create at least a single piece of original content every day. Another little dose of brutal honesty: if your firm isn’t doing the same, you’ll be hemorrhaging customers to your rivals who are. Marketing guru Jon Buscall puts it better than we can:

“Content Marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” Jon Buscall

Video is your gold standard. Wonderful, creative ad agencies in Essex will create them for you. Share them everywhere – on social media, and all over your website. Written blogs are also a good bet – you can stuff them full of keywords, which will naturally boost your SEO.

SEO and Organic Search

Essex has been a little late to the SEO bear-pit. That means keywords are still up for grabs, and that fighting to arrive on page one of Google’s search results remains relatively uncompetitive. That’s likely to change in 2021, as more and more businesses rely on web traffic from Google.co.uk for their income – and web design companies in Essex get wise to SEO best-practice.

The latest data suggests that 94.5% of UK citizens rely on Google.co.uk as their primary search engine. Optimising your content – both in terms of its underlying code, and in terms of the keywords you deploy – is what’ll spell the difference for your firm in 2021.

SEO in Essex & the UK is about to come of age. Get in there just before it does so that your firm is easily found when consumers Google products or services online.

Future-Facing Marketing Methods

As promised, it’s time for some futuristic marketing methods we expect to be pivotal in 2021. Again, you can choose not to engage with these emerging technologies – but to do so will cede ground in your ongoing attempt to dominate your competitors online.

We’re going to look at three key emerging marketing tools here:

  • AI Chatbots
  • Challenger Platforms
  • Hyper-Personalisation

You’ll have seen glimpses of these in Essex & the UK already; we reckon that they’ll be well established in the city by the end of 2021.

AI Chatbots

These have been trialed for years, with varying results – and it’s only been in the last two years or so that we’ve seen the promised breakthrough: working chatbots that deliver customer satisfaction AND higher sales. Our web design company Essex can help build one of these for your firm.

It’s probably a little rich to call them AI – they’re essentially machine learning algorithms with a smiling face and a chatty persona – but chatbots popping up on all of your social media accounts and on your website is an incredibly useful way to engage your customer as soon as they discover your brand.

Challenger Platforms

Anti-trust cases against tech giants mean that 2021 is looking pretty saucy for any competitors to Google, Facebook, Amazon, et al. The “too long; didn’t read” summary here is that we might be about to see the rules reset for online advertising.

Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.” – Jonathan Perelman, Buzzfeed

We’ve mentioned content already – but the new battle in 2021 may well be where you choose to distribute it. TikTok forced its way onto the scene in 2020. Zoom emerged from obscurity to become the world’s favored conference calling technology. Slack exploded during national lockdowns. Expect marketers to watch new ‘challenger platforms’ keenly in 2021. Getting there and planting your business’ flag first will be the modern world’s equivalent of the Gold Rush.

Hyper-Personalisation

Thought leaders are all in agreement that consumers are ridiculously picky, and this year they’re expecting products and services to be strongly personalised to their expectations and needs. Marketing in Essex might be less mature than marketing in the UK, but it’s still

That means always addressing consumers by their name. It means knowing your customers intimately, and rewarding them for repeat visits to your site. It means bearing in mind your User Journey – and plotting touchpoints to maximize your impact on the value chain. And it means honing your content to make it as relevant as possible to your target consumer.

“Personalisation – it’s not about first/last name. It’s about relevant content.” – Dan Jay

Fancy a Chat?

Harnessing the power of digital marketing takes skill and experience. Our team possesses both in abundance, and we’ll be more than happy to take a call from you to talk through options for your firm’s marketing drive. Equally, you’re welcome to drop us a line – we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

As a leading digital agency in Essex – providing both web design services and digital marketing expertise – we’re able to offer bespoke services to fit any budget. That means cherry-picking only the most effective marketing methods for your tailor-made strategy, and giving you an idea of the ROI you’re going to see on each and every dirham you spend.

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