Top Online Marketing Trends Predicted For Home Services in 2021
For businesses around the world, 2020 was a year of adapting to unprecedented situations and discovering new ways to connect with customers. The Coronavirus pandemic required people to stay inside, which led to Google advertisers seeing in-store conversions drop by 90%. As a result, companies—particularly small to medium businesses—began to invest in online advertising strategies to boost sales. Now, as 2021 begins and we near the 1-year mark of COVID-19 lockdown, it can be assumed that these online advertising tactics will continue to grow and prove ever useful to businesses around the world.
What we wanted to know, however, is what exactly we can expect to see from this year in terms of online marketing trends; and what better way to discern that than asking the experts? These trends are what the experts expect to see in terms of 2021 online advertising strategies.
Keep Up With Privacy Changes
“One of the big trends we will undoubtedly see in 2021 is an increased focus on privacy issues. As digital marketing evolves with a much more targeted approach, consumers are becoming more conscious and concerned about privacy. As a reaction we are seeing top brands think quick. In March 2020, Safari blocked all third-party cookies. Apple is introducing intelligence tracking prevention across mobile apps, meanwhile, Google plans on getting rid of third party cookies by 2022. As many government bodies warm up to the idea of enacting legislation to protect personal data there is no denying the data privacy landscape will change immensely — and digital marketers will have to adopt.
A recent study suggests contextual targeting might be one of the best ways to handle the transition. However, given the turbulent nature of the new landscape driven by privacy changes, I believe the best next move will be sticking to the tried-and-true practices — PPC advertising and content marketing. The key driver behind PPC advertising — search engine queries — are not likely to be impacted by the privacy changes, and this allows brands to pursue their paid search efforts. This would be a good marketing channel to use that would see beneficial results during turbulent times. Another classic move would be concentrating on creating good quality content. The importance of informative, educative and purposeful content positions you as leaders in the field and resonates with your audience, clients, consumers and customers.
"As for the general perspectives of digital marketing in the upcoming year, we need to take into account that funds are on a tight leash and as such, business cuts are inevitable. According to data from SEMrush, digital advertisers of all sizes have reduced their online ad budgets by 20% on average. Whilst acclimatizing to the new normal we can say for certain that online is the new offline and as we have seen so rapidly in the last few months - that online visibility, presence and exposure is here for good if businesses want to stay afloat and ideally stand out from the crowd. I believe spend on digital advertising will regenerate and grow exponentially, and the main growth driver here will be small and medium companies."
Olga Andrienko, VP Brand Marketing, SEMrush
Embrace New Social Channels
“Home Service companies have seen huge results from creating TikTok accounts that have followed the eye candy formula of being satisfying. Simple videos have been some of the most popular business growers. Not only was this video never promoted it was able to gather 64,000 likes. Although we all know likes don't translate to high conversion, home service companies like this have been able to take videos and turn them into advertisements that have proven to be effective marketing material. This simple technique of explanation, "satisfying music," and examples have been a great marketing tool that's requested almost as much as traditional Facebook and Google advertising.”
Vicente Byrne, CMO, Get Social.Marketing
“Companies should be qualified to devote more sources to social media marketing in 2021. During a pandemic, marketers are frequently making consumer retention a preference. This will continue to increase in 2021. COVID-19 has dramatically boosted the amount of time individuals spend online which involves how they research products, brands, and organizations. This customer shift creates new possibilities for marketers to increase their reach with new audiences and re-engage with long-time customers.”
Damien Martin, Shufti Pro
Video Content is King
“One key digital marketing trend that small business owners should or need to consider for 2021 is short form video. Particularly, short form videos that highlight a key trend in their industry. Why short form videos? Research shows that shorter videos yield more engagement. Pairing the video with a link back to a content article on the service's website helps increase engagement with the video, plus provides additional detail to the homeowner and demonstrates the business's experience and expertise.”
Jamie Bilella, Dunes Marketing
“Just like how we want customers to return to our business, we want them to do so not only when they need to, but because they want to. As a marketing expert for many years, I believe the digital marketing trend to look out for for 2021 is creating videos that capture all you need to know about your company in a minute or less. This could be utilizing TikTok or creating a short reel on Instagram showing off your product/service. People want videos that get to the point versus reading through many words. If you want to save all of your Instagram videos with the native effects for later use we recommend this free Instagram video downloader.”
Tim Denman, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, ServGrow
“One of the key digital marketing trends that home service businesses should be taking advantage of in 2021 is live-streamed video content. Video live streaming has skyrocketed since Covid but is still extremely under-utilized in the home services sector, and in fact across many business sectors. It's easier to do than professionally shot video and oftentimes will result in better reach and engagement. Also, the ability to interact and engage with your audience in real-time helps nurture relationships and convert leads.”
Matt, Digital Marketing Manager, WDA Branding Derby
Remember Local SEO & Google My Business
“Investing in a strong online presence through Google My Business will be important for service businesses in 2021. Google My Business is a free-to-use tool used to win search results in both Google Search and Maps. It continues to be one of the best ways for service businesses to book more jobs and differentiate themselves from competitors.”
Bruce Hogan, CEO, SoftwarePundit
“Focus on local SEO. Simply explained, this is a search engine optimization tactic that will put your business at the top of local search results. Suppose you operate a plumbing service in your city. When people living in that city search for ‘plumbing services near me’ you want your business to appear at the top. So, how do you do that?
First, claim and optimize your Google My Business listing. Some of the businesses that appear in the search results have an ‘own this business?’ link under them because they have not been claimed. Second, make sure your website is neat and optimized for mobile. Make it clear what it is about, the services you offer, and how a potential customer can contact you. Lastly, research the keywords you want to rank for. Examples include ‘plumbing services in [city]’, ‘affordable plumbing’, etc.”
David De Haan, Owner, Fantastic Kayaks
Personalize and Humanize Your Business
“A marketing trend for consideration in 2021 is posts with actual employees from the business rather than using stock photos. Many businesses are faceless corporations, but showing the actual team behind the scenes reveals the everyday people that run the business. It gives prospective clients a human feel to the company rather than just a symbol with a company slogan. People are more likely to approach a person than a company where they are just a number. Whether companies list their employees on their website or post pictures of their team on social media, either way works and is a great way to give the company a human element that connects with prospective clientele.”
Luke Smith, Founder, We Buy Property In Kentucky
“The one key digital marketing trend for home service businesses to embrace is storytelling. Tell your customers why they should pick you by way of a story. Give them an example of someone you helped and how the level of your attentiveness and service made them feel. We relate to others through the stories we share. It's the foundation of human connection. So, the top brands—whether a small business or public company—embrace stories and use them to help consumers identify with their brand. Doing it effectively results in long-term business relationships.”
David Domzalski, Founder and Public Relations Consultant, Run The Money
Email Marketing is Not Dead
“The one key digital marketing trend that small business owners can rely on year after year is Email Marketing. It sounds too good to be true right? But email has the highest ROI of other channels, is the most utilized with 3.8 billion users (over social media at 3.4 billion), and creates know, like, and trust that you can measure. With the overall engagement rate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter being only 0.58%, the average email open rate of 22.86% starts to look really good. The best part is you know what people like based on their actions such as purchases and can send them the relevant information that they are ready for now. No need to rely on ads or the algorithm getting those eyeballs to your sales page.”
Kabrina Budwell, Kabrina Budwell Consulting
Use Helpful Tools Like Automation and Chatbots
"Home service providers will need to make the leap and implement marketing automation in 2021. Letting an automated review management system take the lead for gathering and monitoring online testimonials or implementing bot-powered web chat services will free contractors from simple rote tasks that are time killers. It will provide home service the opportunity to maximize their engagement with their prospects and customers."
Chris Lonergan, President, Footbridge Media
“Chatbots are becoming an increasingly popular way to deal with pre-sales and customer service questions. Businesses in the home services industry can leverage chatbots to answer FAQs, gather customer data/requests, and respond to popular customer issues.”
Roshni Wijayasinha, Founder, Prosh Marketing
When it comes to online marketing in 2021, adaptation is the name of the game. With the way people are connecting with each other and local businesses changing every day, it’s crucial that home service providers are flexible and adaptable. From utilizing social media and creating engaging video content to putting a face to their company and using Google My Business, there are a myriad of ways for companies to set themselves apart from their competitors. According to these experts, keeping tabs on how technology allows you to reach new customers and stay connected to current customers will help you go above and beyond this year!