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Social media marketing tips for 2021

Girl holding Instagram frame on purple background.

We’ve delved into the predictions of the marketing professionals to discover what social media marketing trends you’ll be seeing and using this year.

SEO Drives Organic Instagram Visibility

SEO and Reels are two things to take note of this year. In November 2020, it was announced that Instagram would become more search friendly. Now, without the use of hashtags, if you search for a keyword in the search bar, relevant videos, profiles, and posts should populate.

This is going to be a win-win for marketers as we should expect increased opportunities for more reach on posts. To get the best out of it make sure your captions include relevant keywords that will help Instagram identify what’s being shown or talked about in your post.

To further help Instagram categorise your account, you need to consistently post content that’s relevant to your niche. For example if you run an Instagram account for your hair and beauty business you’ll need to focus on posting content about hair and beauty and avoid content that strays into an unrelated category. In addition, you can follow similar accounts and add relevant key words into your bio name. These additions will help you show up in search within your category.

To compete with the rise in popularity of TikTok, Instagram launched Reels, a new form of video content delivered in 15–30 seconds to create quick, attention-grabbing moments in a creative and entertaining way. Instagram’s new UI update, which put IG Reels front and centre, should give a good indication to marketers that Instagram Reels will be here to stay!

Reels Ignite Organic Instagram Exposure

Video remains a key component for marketing on Instagram and reels can be 15 or 30 seconds long. You can maintain engagement through the addition of music and text and keep things interesting by using the green screen effect. Extremely powerful for small businesses in Reels, the green screen effect gives you the ability to share photos, screenshots, or videos. Photos can be before-and-after images that illustrate the transformation that your business delivers. Screenshots can be used to showcase questions your business gets via email or Direct Messages, in essence the options are endless!

Embrace the Shift to Online Shopping on Instagram

As we become accustomed to the “new normal,” businesses need to adapt to ensure revenue continues to come in and sales grow. Any traditional business can be turned into an online business but it’s important that the online version of your product or service is delivered to its highest quality and standard. Furthermore, the shift toward contactless shopping will allow eCommerce stores to thrive even further in 2021. With social platforms such as Instagram and Facebook already beginning to integrate in-app purchasing, the steps traditionally required to convert a user to a customer will be reduced and the gap between ‘scrolling’ and ‘shopping’ will be significantly blurred. It’s therefore, imperative that brands utilise social media and set up retargeting ads as the majority of your traffic won’t purchase on their first visit to your site. Implementing a retargeting strategy will ensure you capture them later and increase your overall revenue. User experience should also be a key focus, with your website optimised for mobile and any lags in speed fixed to ensure a speedier checkout.    

Brands Must Humanise

Being transparent and authentic is key for brands in 2021. People connect with people which means that companies should personify their brands in a way that reveals who they stand for and what they stand for. Therefore, its important that they put a face to the brand through video and communicate its core values and what matters to them. 

Facebook Advertising Success Is Tied to the Customer Lifecycle

Returning to the foundational aspects of running ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram will be critical to success in 2021.

Central to that success will be accurately assessing the customer life cycle and the average customer value so you know how much you can pay for a lead and still remain profitable. Review the records of your past customers to get a solid sense of how leads join your list, the length of time between someone joining your list and becoming a paying customer, and how much your average customer spends with you.

Use that information to build out your projections and a Facebook advertising strategy that reflects your true customer data. Then you can move into developing innovative ad campaigns that play to Facebook’s preferences with creative.

Facebook Ad Creative Becomes Less Static, Favors Positivity

Advertising on Facebook (and Instagram) will see more ingenuity than ever before in 2021.

GIFs have proven themselves to be a staple among intermediate and advanced advertisers, and they’re incredibly easy to produce. Simply take 3–15 seconds of any video and create your own GIF on a site such as Remember, while GIFs are short and sweet, they’re still counted as video views so you can retarget them, too.

User-generated content comes directly from your actual customers and clients. More and more marketers are recognising the power of UGC and finding clever ways to incentivise it among their customer base for use in their marketing. UGC content can range from testimonials to fun and snappy Reels-style edits of how to actually use your product or service. Smart advertisers make sure they have permission to use this UGC. This will become increasingly central to many advertising campaigns moving forward as companies recognise the ROI.

Collages are making a comeback in a big way right now. They are eye-catching and encourage people to pause their scroll to check it out. That pause can be all that’s needed to float the eye through the remainder of the ad (from copy to headline) and cause the click.

Now that Facebook has removed the 20% rule from its platform (though this is an unspoken rule removal; there’s been nothing official from Facebook itself), you see more advertisers playing with larger, bolder text ads.

Personality Becomes Key to YouTube Growth

Online business is exploding and YouTube is no exception. Many channels—even newer channels—are seeing exponential growth right now.

In the midst of this growth, differentiation will be key to standing out and reaching your ideal customer. As YouTube becomes more saturated with topical niches it’s also becoming more personality-centric. This means your most valuable differentiator is your unique personality—the way you speak, the way you explain concepts, etc.

Leaning into what makes you different and injecting that into your channel from day one will make it easier to attract and build loyalty with a new audience on YouTube.

On the personal brand side of LinkedIn, companies will want to focus on mastering conversational marketing. Creating polls that your audience will want to vote on and asking irresistible open-ended questions in updates, sharing candid photos from your workday in stories, or postings about celebrating career milestones are going to be key. Conversations on LinkedIn, typically a place where conversation centres around business that have been focused on public, political, social, and economic issues are shifting and forcing brands to speak up and share their values. And if you want to be successful on LinkedIn in 2021, be prepared to adopt transparency into your marketing efforts.


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10 Digital
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Content Marketing

Content Marketing otherwise known as non-interruption marketing is essentially creating valuable, relevant and consistent content for your consumers that will engage and create awareness about your brand.

Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.

David Beebe, TV Producer

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