SocialCommerceDigital marketing is changing rapidly and challenges companies constantly. Besides the fact that the COVID-19 crisis has massively pushed the adaptation of digital channels and changed the online behavior of users—regardless of whether it is media, retail, or experience—in order not to lag behind in 2021, companies should deal with online marketing trends to establish a strategy that suits the business.

Retail and e-commerce have long benefited from the importance of social media channels as a source of inspiration, traffic generator, and of course, sales channel. Mid of 2020, Facebook and Instagram shops were launched which enabled companies worldwide, regardless of company size or budget, to offer and sell their own products directly on their own profile without customers having to visit an extra website. This is particularly interesting for small companies and start-ups that are launching their products on the market for the first time. The feature is now being expanded to include Instagram Stories, TV, and Reels, so that companies have even greater chances of staging their products creatively or with the help of storytelling. As with shopping articles in the feed, the corresponding products are marked in the IGTV Publisher.

Clearly, the advantage of social shops is their enormous potential: the channels are accessed by billions of users every day and contain a lot of data, which not only provide information about shopping behavior, but on the private interests and interactions of users too. With the help of Facebook and Instagram, companies can now not only display their offers very specifically and address the relevant users at the right time, but also sell the offers directly. Nevertheless, it is recommended not to replace the normal online shop with social shops in the long run, rather be used as an additional sales tool—and I am not talking about the current antitrust lawsuits Facebook is facing right now.

New campaign type for Google Ads

For users, Google is primarily a search engine, but for companies, the platform is an important part of the marketing mix. With the help of Google Ads campaigns, potential customers are addressed who are looking for information, products, or services in the Google world, or who simply stream videos on YouTube. Under the name "Performance Max Campaigns", Google is currently developing a new type of campaign that will be launched as a beta version next year. This further development of the smart campaign offers companies a wide range of suitable marketing goals and is designed as a supplement to existing search campaigns with the intend to increase conversions and income. New reports should be available for evaluation, for example to determine which target groups or asset combinations achieve the best results. The recent announcement intends to make companies aware of the benefits of the Google Ads "Performance Max Campaign", and that the "Insights" function also helps to identify trends and changed user demands, and allows you to react to them in real time.

Search engine optimization for voice searches

Voice search is already ubiquitous and used every day since Siri, Alexa, and Co are on the rise. One the one hand, with the help of well-maintained, structured data and machine learning processes in the search algorithm, Google can provide targeted results. On the other hand, as users become more familiar with the tool and how to use it, user demands increase as well, which is why websites should be optimized accordingly. This means, for example, preparing information clearly, answering simple questions, and optimizing the loading time. Because, in contrast to written search queries, often whole sentences are "entered" in voice searches: the better a website can respond to such detailed searches, the more likely it will pick up users. Content that helps users and answers their questions are therefore becoming more important than ever.

By Daniela La Marca