The key to making a sustainable profit is to properly position businesses for the future. In addition, digital marketing agencies need to stay on the cusp of new trends in order to differentiate themselves in a super-competitive market. Here’s a closer look at some 2021 digital marketing trends that need to be on offer in your agency in order to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack.

2021 Digital Marketing Trends to Keep an Eye on

  1. Mobile Users 

There is a stable growth of purchases made from a mobile device. In the last seven years, mobile traffic is up 222%! Websites need to be optimized for mobile search and improved loading time. Readability for blogs and video needs to be a priority when the user is tuning in from their smartphone. Apps to better access information or services from a company are also important. It takes effort for a consumer to get out their laptop or sit down at a desktop, but their mobile phone is always with them, making it frictionless.

  1. Messengers 

Messenger apps have become a preferred form of communication by the majority of customers. Messages sent through this platform have a higher click-through rate than those using other forms of communication. The integration of messengers into businesses provides huge opportunities to brands, such as data collection, calls-to-action, and answering FAQs.

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  1. Augmented Reality 

Augmented reality (or AR) is being used to enhance the customer experience. Through AR, customers can try out different products and services wherever they are. AR is similar to virtual reality (VR) but is much more affordable for average businesses to implement. In 2021 it is predicted that more than 70% of companies will use some form of immersive technology.

  1. Voice Search Optimization 

The popularity of using voice to search is growing. In 2020, 55% of search queries were conducted by voice. Optimizing the strategies you offer customers to include voice search engine optimization (SEO) will ensure they expand their reach. Communicating to clients the importance of building a brand is going to become paramount. Because instead of a customer asking Alexa for “toothpaste,” you want them to ask for “Colgate.” Voice commands are now coming not only through smart speakers but also through vehicles and other home devices, so make sure this is part of your package offerings in 2021 to keep your clients ahead of the eight ball. 

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  1. Live Broadcasts 

Live broadcasts are vastly more popular than recorded video on any social media platform. Users love to feel like they can interact with a brand or influencer, and tuning in live makes it a more realistic experience. Live videos can be an excellent marketing and branding tool, because they are also promoted by platforms, increasing your clients’ reach without any input from you. Big brands should jump on the live video trend and its free added reach in order to show the value of what they do, demo products, show testimonials, how-tos, etc. It even extends the time-on-page metric that Google uses to rank results, meaning it’s also good for SEO and one of our top 2021 digital marketing trends.

  1. Conversational AI 

Conversational AI can do amazing things for your digital marketing. For example, it can gather insights on purchasing patterns, analyze the interactions with customers, and identify key areas for improvement in branding, customer service or communication. Conversational AI-powered chatbots can be an integral part of a marketing campaign through targeted messages, coupons, and other offers that are strategically tracked.

2021 digital marketing trends
Photo by Serpstat from Pexels

Conversational AI can also help brands understand their customers, and provide the one-on-one personalized touch of conversing via language. 

If you are interested in finding out how conversational AI can up your digital marketing game, reach out to a chatbot consultant now to discuss partnership options.

When you propose digital marketing products, packages and strategy to your clients, what sets your offering apart from the competition? Every marketing firm has its own strengths, but in an industry that is constantly changing (hello, Google and Instagram algorithms), what’s the next big thing on the horizon that you can begin to offer before your competition?

Digital Marketing Chatbots Offer Unparalleled Customer Insights

Customers are savvy. They want to know how you can improve their bottom line with your marketing efforts, and they are looking for metrics to confirm your success. Many digital marketing firms offer analytics on social media campaigns, Google SEO improvements and leads captured from their websites. But how does all of this translate into sales?

It’s difficult to connect website SEO improvements and social media insights to changes in overall sales with large, complex brands. All of these pieces are obviously important to a long-term marketing strategy, but they can feel like thankless tasks that brands don’t value, because of the disconnection between marketing and sales.

One innovative way to connect your marketing efforts to sales on a campaign is through the use of a digital marketing chatbot. Deploying a well-designed chatbot on a client’s website helps to build relationships with prospects and customers. Not only are you building relationships, you are collecting an expanding set of data that can help you truly understand your client’s customer persona in a unique (and efficient) way. 

Digital Marketing Chatbots

For example, Tommy Hilfiger was quick to use a conventional AI chatbot to build relationships with its online customers. When the brand made its NYC Fashion Week collection available through its chatbot, it gained 3.5 times as much revenue as other digital avenues. Now there’s a stat you can take to your clients with confidence.

Adding Digital Marketing Chatbots to Your Roster is Lucrative

Perhaps you’re well-versed in chatbot technology, but weren’t sure if you could add it to your list of services and still make money off of it. A marketing chatbot that uses conversational AI to continue to deliver insights on customer behaviour is a long term asset for your marketing firm. Not only will it allow you to fill out your customer personas better and therefore speak more clearly to them, but a marketing chatbot continues to improve, deliver greater value to your clients as the AI technology improves, and its built-in analytics save your team time on gathering insights.

Additionally, you can partner with an experienced group of consultants, who will manage the project, ensure efficient and successful development, and will make sure the right subject matter experts are involved. These consultants can also help you to make the business case for a marketing chatbot with your clients in a way that’s mutually beneficial to your firm and your end client.

Digital Marketing Chatbots

You can pitch the digital marketing chatbot as an innovative way for a brand to operate, setting it apart from the competition. You’ll also be seen as forward-thinking, and with each new chatbot deployment, you’ll also become experts in how to leverage the chatbot for maximum ROI. 

Curious about how you can partner with chatbot consultants to offer bots to your client? Get in touch with us to learn more.

One of the largest undertakings for The ChatC Group this year was launching our new website. We’re a tight knit team of consultants, each with our own strengths. Exactly how we pull together to deliver expertise in a chatbot solution is how we learned to approach website design projects as well. 

the chatc group

However, there were three lessons we learned along the way that we want to share before anyone else undertakes their website relaunch. Getting your mindset right and knowing timelines, tools and approaches prior to commencing website development are all key. So, let’s save you some time and money and share our takeaways before you fall into time traps.

Top 3 Lessons from Managing The ChatC Group Website Launch

Project management is a strength for The ChatC Group. We geek out on new productivity tools and putting our agile methods to work on each new exciting undertaking. But like all projects, there are going to be things you don’t expect and changes along the way.

That’s the beauty of an agile approach–we expect the unexpected. Our methods allowed for quick course correction and minimal time spent on small mistakes or misdirections. Here are the top three takeaways from our website development and launch, so that you can anticipate these stumbling blocks and learn from our experience.

1. Getting the Brand Voice Right Takes Time

At the outset of the project, The ChatC Group team laid out the structure of the website, what each page should contain and what the overall goals of the website were. The next step was to write the copy for each of the pages. 

Our biggest takeaway for copywriting a website: Don’t be precious. 

Simply get words down on paper (or Google Doc) in order to have a first draft to work from. First drafts are meant to be garbage. But without them, you can’t improve and figure out what you do need. So speed is crucial here. Get the ideas and goals of the page down and begin writing.

Next, ensure that all the necessary team members are involved in reviewing the copy and giving their feedback. For a smaller start-up, this means having the CEO and founders get their two cents in and comment on whether the copy sounds like them. Even if you are working with a copywriter or marketing team, you need the brand’s creators involved to guide the writer. Otherwise, how will they know if they are on the right track?

Finally, this process is iterative and it will definitely take longer than you want it to. The writers need time to learn the brand’s voice and what the expectations are from the executive team, and those executives need time to review things in between making sales and building an empire. 

Give yourself a couple of months to get the brand voice and website copy ready for launch.

A couple of months sounds like a gargantuan amount of time, but you will need it to get things right, allow for creative processes and be realistic about your team’s available time.

2. Visual Mock-up Tools for Layout Are Essential

Putting the design elements into a mock-up tool for web design helps minimize wasted time on the part of the developers. You may think that the web design team is 100% on the same page as you and will deliver exactly what you said or drew on the back of a napkin. But often that’s not the case, and without seeing the design in front of you, you may give the green light to project hours that don’t deliver what you need.

3 Lessons Learned When Launching The ChatC Group

During the development of The ChatC Group website, the web designers used a tool called Figma. The cloud-based tool made it easy for the designer to share his interpretation of the brief and get feedback from the rest of the team with comments right on the mocked-up web pages. 

Visual collaboration tools like this one made it way faster for our team to redirect when we got something wrong or discovered a better alternative. One page could be designed as the template for the site and feedback given on the same day without the designer having invested time in coding the site.

Other simpler tools exist that can help your team mock-up the website layout before getting started. Google Chrome has an app called Moqups that is easy for any team to learn. It’s a drag-and-drop interface where you can layout your proposed website design and send it to the developer with all elements clearly labelled and placed on each page.

The key is to get the design ideas onto “paper” as quickly as possible. It can be messy, look childish and not be anywhere near the final product. But fast action is the goal. It leads to fast feedback and getting on the right track quicker, saving you time and development budget.

3. Use Agile Methods to Make Real Progress Faster

Built into our company values are many that appear in the Agile Manifesto. Responding to change always comes before sticking to a plan. When undertaking complex creative work, there are unknowns, roadblocks and changes in direction. It’s the nature of the beast. 

So rather than plan out a detailed approach to website design, start by allowing for change. Begin with goals, intentions, layouts and first drafts of copy. But then let you and your team deviate from that first step as better options appear. Because delivering value and ensuring the customer (in this case – you) gets the best possible product is at the heart of agile methods. 

For website design, an agile approach translates into:

  • Crappy first drafts (of website copy, layouts and images)
  • Seeking feedback on progress, not the final product so corrections are quick
  • Team calls and check-ins to facilitate collaboration (not old-school contracting)
  • Fostering an environment where everyone feels like they can make mistakes, learn and bring their ideas to the table

Allow for multiple drafts of your website, and seek incremental progress throughout. Small steps with a team that communicates well will deliver a better final product quicker than one design brief thrown over the wall to a design team operating in their own silo.

The ChatC Group website was a true team effort. It turned out better than we imagined, because of the expert consultants we brought to the table. It also took many more iterations than we predicted, but we adapted. Perfection wasn’t the goal for us, but with incremental progress we’re getting closer and the website will continue to be a living organism, getting better every month.

Still have questions about agile methods? 

Get in touch with us today on our new website!

The digital marketing industry has rapidly expanded over the last decade, and now, more than ever, it’s becoming difficult to differentiate your agency from all the others. You have quality writers, designers, strategists, editors and project managers, which is already enough to set you above the competition in terms of products and services delivered.

But how do you communicate that value to new customers? What can you do to put yourself on the next level of digital marketing prowess, in order to make it clear that your digital marketing agency is the one to hire?

Set Your Agency Apart with Voice Search Marketing Services

According to Gartner, 30% of all online browsing in 2020 will be conducted on a device without a screen. That means smart speakers, home assistants and even Apple AirPods will be the devices that search for things online; not a user typing a question into Google.

A large part of digital marketing revolves around search engine optimization (SEO) and staying on top of the latest algorithm changes from the powers that be at Google. The rise of voice search will mean that some of your current keyword-finding practices and tools will need to adapt to how people speak to their devices versus how they type things into Google.

Depending on the tools you currently use for SEO, you may be lucky and find that some of them will have already started incorporating longer-tail keywords that correspond to a full question asked verbally. But, be sure to do your due diligence and test this out in the backend of your tools. Even if the search volume isn’t as high as you’d typically like on a keyword, consider writing content for your clients using voice search phrases.

You want to be providing services to your current and prospective clients faster than they think they need them. Because as soon as everyone is asking for something, it’s already a bit crowded out there, and the early adopters have already won.

Be an Early Adopter of All Facets of Voice Search Marketing

Above and beyond your SEO strategy for your clients’ websites, blogs and other online platforms, you’ll need to think outside the box to figure out this new avenue of voice search marketing before your competitors. 

Voice Search Marketing

There are a few different avenues to consider, depending on your clientele. First, is there an Alexa Skill that you could create to help your clients’ customers or prospects? Just like you create content to help customers throughout their journey, can some of the content you’ve already written be translated into a voice-driven Alexa Skill?

For example, if your client is a large producer of personal care products, could you create an Alexa Skill that helps people decide what product is best for their skin type? 

Another example might be for a SaaS company, where you create an Alexa Skill that helps prospects determine if the feature they need is included in their software solution. You can even use existing content you’ve created and tweak it so that the voice-generated questions with longer-tail keywords will be the first response delivered by a voice assistant. For instance, one blog you’ve written was titled: “How To Find the Best CRM for Family Business.” The keyword you optimized for was “CRM for family business.” But to take that one step further, you should write another blog that uses the keywords commonly asked by voice “How do I find the best CRM for my family business?”

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating content for voice search marketing purposes. And the sooner you start creating content, measuring metrics and getting results for your clients, the sooner you can leverage those testimonials to acquire additional customers. 

Boost Your Clients’ Digital Presence with New Technologies

While embracing voice search marketing might be cutting-edge enough for your agency to acquire some killer new clients, you could take this one step further. 

In marketing, providing personalized service to clients is key. Another platform that can translate easily to voice is the chatbot. Your clients may even have chatbots already working for them on their e-commerce website or to provide help with FAQs. The platform has already been created, and with the help of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) it continues to deliver better service.

Why not have your developers or technology contractors provide that same service on a voice search platform? Or see if you can leverage the data you’re collecting from a chatbot to better inform your current marketing strategy. Chatbots collect so much data, and even if you didn’t develop the chatbot for your client, you could ask them to provide you with the insights to better direct your efforts. 

On the subject of chatbot development, did you know you can partner with a chatbot consultant to deliver this technology to your clients as a lucrative value-added service?

Get in touch with one of our consultants today to learn more.