MDP Blog

The Complete Digital Marketing Guide of 2021

Digital marketing is not going anywhere. If anything, it's bound to get even more popular in 2021. In this post, we'll share our ultimate digital marketing strategy. If you're ready to learn how to replicate the strategies that work for multiple brands to grow yours into a thriving business, this post is for you.

Lessons in this post include:

  • Digital marketing techniques to use in 2021
  • Strategies that multiple experts have used to skyrocket their digital marketing success

Online Marketing Strategy: What is it?

You know what you do to get in front of your audience online - post on social media, record Facebook or Instagram lives, engage with your target audience! As simple as that sounds, that's what a digital marketing strategy is about – getting you noticed by your audience.

Optimizing your marketing strategy will not only help you capture a larger and loyal audience; it'll help you convert them into customers.

But I understand that sometimes, it may feel like you know too little about digital marketing to get the most out of it. The truth is marketing doesn't have to be complex to work. Even with simpler techniques, it's possible to grow your business exponentially.

While there are multiple complex online marketing strategies, you probably don't need them. You can even use a single online marketing channel to grow your business to seven figures! For instance, if you settle on Facebook as the best platform to find audiences, you can leverage:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Live streams
  • Facebook Groups

But before you settle on a strategy, it's essential to understand how to attract your target customers online.

How to Attract Customers Online

Contrary to popular belief, attracting customers online is easy. Unfortunately, most business owners make a grave mistake that derails their marketing efforts – they don't do enough research on their target audience. In return, they end up attracting consumers that are not ready to buy.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google. All of them have billions of users that could potentially be your customers. Still, only a tiny fraction of the billions needs the service or solution you offer.

Which brings me to the question, how do you attract your ideal audience out of the billions? How do you appeal to those that are ready to spend money on your product or service?

For starters, you need to choose the right platform for your brand. For example, if your audience hangs out on Facebook or Instagram, that's where you should direct your efforts and market your services. On the other hand, if you're new to digital marketing, it's advisable to start with one marketing channel before moving on to the next one.

When you move to an additional marketing platform, make sure it's one that your audience uses. To find out, ask a few of your clients where they spend their time online. You'll be surprised by how much your happy clients are happy to share that could help your brand grow faster.

Finding out why they buy from you will help you pivot your marketing communication to attract more buyers.

Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Consistency and focus are essential for your online marketing strategy to work. But so is knowing where your business stands right now. Are you launching a product, building one, or just looking to grow your audience?

Are you a new company, or you're looking for new online marketing avenues?

If you're starting and don't have a following yet, you don't need long-term strategies like SEO and content marketing. Instead, you are better off focusing on building an audience on social media first. It's less demanding, easier to implement, and has the potential to start showing results sooner.

Think of marketing in groups or going on live social media broadcasts to connect with your audience. For a new outfit, these are better strategies if you're looking to bring in customers right now.

Focusing on a single platform also ensures you don't spread yourself too thin across multiple platforms to the point of burning out before you see any traction.

Below are digital marketing strategies that are working in 2021:

A) Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a potent way of attracting and converting your ideal client into a buyer and a loyal fan when used the right way. So the question is, what's the proper method of advertising and marketing on social media?

Believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways to use social media! Below is how to use social media the right way.

The Right Way to Use Social Media in 2021

Most business owners spend the bulk of their time trying to go viral, thinking that's how they'll grow. Others chase the next shiny thing like TikTok or Clubhouse due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). The truth is you don't need any of this for you to see results from your online marketing campaigns.

Instead, you need to identify one platform that you can start and run with. Then, test it for a week or a month before you move to the next one. Once you find a platform that's working for you and where you're gaining an audience, stick with it.

When we start using a social media platform at Modern Day Pro, we begin by identifying our target audience's interests on the platform. Then we look at the most popular posts and use the same strategies to increase the chances of our posts getting the engagement we desire.

The same goes for any platform you choose for your business. When you settle on one, look at the best-performing brands on the platform. What are they doing that you are not? Implementing the strategies that are working for other brands are guaranteed to work for you. Nevertheless, always ensure you tailor your message in a way that resonates with your audience.

1. Know Your Customer: It's the Best Way to Stand Out

Every brand has realized the power of online and social media marketing, which has increased competition. It's harder to get noticed on social media today more than ever. It doesn't help that most social media algorithms have made it harder for business profiles to appear in people's feeds.

Because of the stiff competition, you have to work harder today to be noticed on social media. So how do you stand out? First, you identify who your customer is and what makes them tick. Social media presents an excellent platform to know your customer by offering your audience a quick call where you can interview them to find out their needs and why they chose you.

Alternatively, you can create a form with up to 5 strategically formulated questions that will clarify who your clients are and why then share it on your social media and request your followers to fill it out for you. Offer them something like a free resource or discount in return for their time.

2. Post Quality Content Consistently

Have you ever stopped to think about how long content lasts on social media? With billions of people posting, it's essential to know how long your posts will be visible on different platforms before they're buried under thousands of newer posts.

But this is only a hindrance if you post once or twice a week. You see, publishing quality content consistently and frequently helps you stay top-of-mind of your audience. It enables you to appear in people's feeds more often and builds brand recognition and a loyal following.

If your target consumers hang out in Facebook groups, don't just post or engage them once a week! Instead, make a point of showing up every day and engaging with posts. Answer questions with helpful answers. Contribute to debates. Publish helpful posts regularly.

If you are consistent and helpful, people will notice you and become loyal followers, eventually becoming buyers. Even when you've finally established your brand, you'll have to post consistently and explore other online marketing channels such as content marketing (writing blog posts and articles) and email marketing.

Here are tips to consider if you want to get the most out of social media:

  • Share your thoughts: Post a topical question asking for people's opinion and share yours along with the post
  • Publish posts that encourage interaction: Asking people about their interest or how they would want you to assist them often does the trick
  • Post informative content: If you're a career coach, life coach, or financial wellness coach, share tips to help your audience get closer to their destination
  • Entertain: people often hop onto social media to wind down. Entertaining them every so often will ensure they keep coming back for more and potentially become a loyal fan

3. Use Platforms with High Engagement Like Instagram

Facebook is hands down the king of social media. But Instagram is the queen of engagement. Picture this, over 40% of Instagram users use the platform every day. Considering Instagram has over a billion users as of 2021, 40% translates to about 400 million daily users!

Of the 40%, half visit at least one business profile on Instagram every day. Because it's more visual than other social media platforms, people seem attracted to and engage with content posted on the platform more. In addition, Instagram has features such as Insta Live and Insta TV that the audience engages with most.

But like every other post, there's a strategy to make these features work for you. So here are a few script lines you can start with for your videos to get your audience's attention.

  • Did you know that …? (Starting with this statement evokes curiosity while allowing you to hook your audience with a fact that will make them tag along for more nuggets)
  • This strategy … (Share a client or your story detailing the action taken and the result that your audience can replicate and how you can help them align the strategy with their goals and respecting where they are in their journey
  • If you want … this is what you need to do … (mention a result that your audience desires, then go on to detail a strategy that can help them get closer to achieving it)
  • Want to learn more? … (add a clear call to action to lead people to take the action you want them to, like sign up for something or download a resource)

Sue Zimmerman, an Instagram expert, says that to attract loads of targeted followers and convert them to buyers, you need to post consistently on IGTV + Insta Live, Instagram Feed, Reels, and Stories. Posting on all four helps you build authority and awareness in your field faster, in addition to increasing your visibility and recognition.

Ensure the content you share in each of Instagram's post forms is native to that form. Most importantly, remember that your followers and audience are real people. They'll respond better and resonate with honest conversations. As part of your growth strategy, remember that social media is about engagement. Like, follow, comment, and message others if you want to continue growing.

4. Get on Pinterest

When used correctly, Pinterest is one of the best marketing platforms for any business. Because Pinterest is still growing, it has plenty of opportunities for brands to build a name and a following on the platform. And even though it's a visual platform, any brand can build an audience fast on it.

Pinterest is best used to drive traffic to your website, mainly to blogs. Pinterest's appeal stems from its popularity as a search engine, especially among creatives and DIYers. If you want design inspiration, Pinterest is the place to go. But it has also gained popularity among brands that want to share tips or helpful information in the form of a graphic or image.

But other than search, Pinterest also allows its users to interact, making it a hybrid platform (social media + search engine). Below is a sample of pins on the platform. When you click on each of the pins (Pinterest posts are called pins) below, it takes you to a website with an article with the same title on the Pinterest post.

The question is, how do you start leveraging the power of Pinterest?

  1. Use an image editor to start creating Pinterest pins. Canva is one of the best free pin creators out there as it comes complete with templates that you only need to customize with what you want to share.
  2. Create a few boards on your Pinterest that are relevant depending on your product or service. For instance, career coaches could create boards about resume writing and interview preparation.
  3. Start posting your pins to the relevant boards. Once you pin the image, ensure you include a title and description to improve searchability. Pro Tip – Using keywords that your target audience is likely to use in your title and descriptions increase the probability of appearing in relevant search queries.

Now that we're done with social media let's move on to the next online marketing strategy …

B) Paid Advertising in 2021

For brands with a flexible budget, paid advertising is the fastest way to achieve your marketing goal. Facebook advertising and Google ads specifically do better than most other paid advertising channels. In fact, for every $1 spent on advertising, it's easy to make $2 in return, but only if you optimize your paid advertising campaigns properly.

That said, online ads are becoming more sophisticated as competition stiffens. This is why without the knowledge, experience, and expertise to set up, test, tweak, and optimize your digital ads, you'll be burning through your advertising budget without seeing the return on investment you desire.

So, how do you make sure the ads you create actually work for you?

1. Create Targeted Ads

The cost of Ad traffic has been climbing steadily as competition rises. Today, more people are competing for the same clicks and keywords on all platforms, which is why marketing budgets keep climbing. That means that to get a decent ROI, you need to create better and more targeted ads than your competitors.

The question is, how do you create more targeted ads? The answer – rethink your ads constantly.

Rethinking your ads means creating different ad sets, writing extra copy for the same ad, and testing to see which ones perform better.

2. Concentrate on the Foundations of Creating Ads

Online ads were one of the easiest ways to get sales for your business a few years ago. Today digital marketing is still the best way to get traffic and sales fast, but it's no longer as easy as it was a decade ago. Still, ads can work exceptionally well for you if you adhere to the proper foundation when creating them.

Laying that proper foundation means crafting your ads while adhering to the aspects of Ad creation that have worked over the years and are still working today. These are:

  • Know your audience – only then can you create ads that will resonate with your target clients.
  • Write compelling copy – it's how you communicate on your ad that makes your target curious about finding out more or that interests them to buy from you.
  • Use an attention-grabbing image – 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual. And 80% of people recall images compared to only 20% who remember what they read.

Even with tough competition, observing the three factors above when creating your ads will put you a cut above your competitors.

3. Learn the Foundations of Copywriting

The best-performing ads have a flawless combination of the three factors above, but it's the copywriting that gives any ad an edge. In any case, it's the copy that will tell your target audience why they should pay attention or take action. And like there are foundations of creating ads, there are fundamentals of writing compelling copy.

Enter AIDA:

  • Attention: The goal of any ad, and by extension the ad copy, is to grab your target audience's attention. When writing your ad copy, think about what your audience would be interested in. What would they want to learn more about?
  • Interest: Your copy must grab the attention of your reader and be something they can identify with. Use your copy to tell your readers how you can help them.
  • Desire: Compelling copy creates a desire in the reader. It makes them want to take the next course of action and find out what lies ahead. The best way of creating desire is to highlight the benefits of your offer and how it will make your audience's life easier or better.
  • Action: Finally, every piece of copy you write has to have a call to action. After reading through your ad, what do you want your audience to do? If you want them to click on a button below, schedule a consultation call, or send you a message, make sure it's evident in your copy.

C) Video Marketing in 2021

Today, video marketing is a critical element of any brands' overall marketing strategy. As the popularity of video grows, so does the need for brands to leverage its use to reach a broader audience in a more impactful, appealing, and catchy way.

A look at your biggest competitors will show that many are using video as part of their marketing strategy, and here is why:

  • According to a survey by Biteable, 74% of marketers say video has a better ROI than static imagery.
  • Wyzol's survey revealed that 93% of brands got new business after posting a video ad on social media.
  • 86% of marketers attribute higher website traffic to videos they create.
  • 84% of marketers successfully use video to increase their lead generation results.

And that's not all. Research has shown that more than 55% of the adult population watches online videos every day. Another 68% of consumers say that they prefer learning about a product or service by watching a video instead of reading text.

If you think about it, YouTube, Livestreams, Facebook and Insta Stories, and LinkedIn videos have some of the highest views and engagement online. They're popular because they work well. People connect with video on a more personal and intimate level than they do with text and thus respond better to video marketing.

Because videos make consumers feel like you're addressing them directly, video marketing is one of the best ways to build trust. The question now is how do you make your video content stand out?

1. Create the Right Content

Often, most brands struggle to figure out what kind of video content to create and share with their audience. The good news is that you only need to make videos about the same good stuff you share every day:

  • A tip or quick strategy
  • An insightful story
  • A tutorial
  • An informational video
  • A live stream

Whichever type of video you choose to post online, it's what you share in the first 15-seconds of your video that will determine whether your audience watches the rest of it or they move along to something else. So make those first 15 seconds exciting, and your audience will stay on for the rest of the video.

Unless you're doing a live broadcast, I recommend writing out your intro, polishing it, and making it crisp before you proceed to record a video.

Make your videos insightful, short, and precise, and your audience will walk away feeling accomplished, which means they'll remember you and potentially come back for more.

Final Words

There you have it. Digital marketing keeps changing and getting more sophisticated. However, there are still processes and systems that keep working well time and again.

The alternative for brands without the time to keep tabs on all changes in the digital marketing scene is outsourcing their marketing to a team like Modern Day Pro, whose everyday goal is to learn what's new and incorporate what's working with tried and tested marketing methods.

Still, I hope that this guide will help you stand out among a sea of competitors, or at least help you set a strong marketing foundation and strategy for your brand. While there are multiple channels you can leverage, you'll have to identify the best platform for you by figuring out where most of your customers spend their time.

Ultimately, marketing is about trying various strategies to see which one works best and then doubling down on that strategy. Happy marketing