Marketing strategies and plans are often revisited and revamped before the start of a new year.

The past year’s performance is taken into consideration along with new plans. However, 2021 is a hard year for marketers to strategize for.

The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 has forced changes in the way people, businesses, and governments work. Naturally, predicting a marketing journey and creating a plan thereof is slightly risky.

Let me get straight to the point – in spite of all the confusion and unpredictability that surrounds us; there are a few things that businesses can do to ensure that they grow in 2021.

Below are the:

Top Digital Marketing Strategies for Growth Hacking Your Business in 2021

These digital marketing strategies will help you to hold your own and be successful in a tough market out there.


  1. Get your website ready for Google’s latest page experience update (Core Web Vitals/UI/UX)

In May 2021, Google is going to officially roll out its Page Experience Score update whereby Core Web Vitals will officially become part of Google’s website ranking parameters.

Core Web Vitals are a subset of all the UI/UX factors (Google Page Experience metrics) that Google takes into consideration for deriving page experience score. Core Web Vitals essentially looks into 3 areas of page experience – page loading speed, page interactivity, and page visual stability.

What do you need to do?

  • Check your website’s Core Web Vital data in the ‘Enhancements’ section of the related Google Search Console account.
  • It will list out all the areas of improvement for your website. Implement all the suggested changes to your website in order to ensure that your website gains a good page experience score.
  • A good page experience score will ensure that your website gets to be seen as a good information source for your relevant audience, gets to rank better for relevant keywords, and gets good website traffic!
  1. Experiment more with ads on social media, OTT platforms, and retail media networks

A big impact of the pandemic has been the massive increase in the time people all over the world are spending online.

This has resulted in most businesses diverting their depleted marketing budgets towards online ads.

Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are the ones that have benefitted the most. This also means that running ads on these three platforms is getting costlier by the day.

However, these three are not the only platforms that have gained the most in terms of usage by people in general.

It has been observed that people are spending plenty of time on OTT platforms, retail shopping platforms, and various social media platforms. Then there are various focused ad networks like Outbrain, Taboola, and so on.

What do you need to do?

  • Explore other ad network options, OTT platforms, and newer social media platforms that have gained in popularity over the last year.
  • Check out retail media networks such as Amazon for advertising possibilities.
  • Setup focused ad campaigns on those platforms that can give you good reach and where the chances of you finding your relevant audience are more.
  • Focus on sponsored display ads and sponsored video ads for better impact.
  1. Increase social media listening and selling on social media

With more and more people spending more time on social media; it is imperative that you increase social media listening activities.

Social commerce also got a boost up in 2020. Facebook launch Shops for its social media networks – Facebook and Instagram, allowing users to directly buy on these social media platforms.

2021 will see more and more social media marketplaces come up, allowing people to buy directly from their phones, through recommendations, shared products, etc.

Social commerce or social selling will continue to grow in the coming years. Brands will look to tap into this growing trend.

What do you need to do?

  • If you are a brand then you need to increase social listening. There are many social media listening tools available; make use of the right ones that provide you with actionable insights.
  • To tap into the enormous potential of social commerce – strategize to sell more of your products or services through social media. This will help you shorten the buyer journey for your customers.
  • Make use of micro-influencers on social media networks to promote your products/services.
  1. Include Local SEO in your marketing strategy

Local SEO is amongst the most underrated but very effective digital marketing strategies for businesses having a local presence. In fact, this holds true for almost all businesses.

Any business must have a Google My Business page – well set up with all necessary information.

Use the Google My Business page to update any changes to your business availability due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For example, change in timings, customer care details, business hours, etc.

There are other key activities that you can do to ensure that your business is leveraging local SEO for growth.

What do you need to do?

  • Include local keywords (such as [service/product term] + [location]) in your SEO strategy. Optimize your relevant service/product pages for local keyword phrases or create new dedicated pages if need be.
  • Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) page with all important information and updates related to your business. Get as many reviews as possible to your Google Business page
  • Add structured markup data for business information. For example – business location, business hours, key offerings, contact details, etc.
  • Add your business information to business directories and local citation sites. Local citations and presence in relevant directories are important in sending out confidence signals to search engines.
  1. Leverage Voice Search!

Voice search has been steadily sneaking into our daily lives with smart AI assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana.

The number of people who will own a smart speaker is stipulated to grow phenomenally in the coming few years

For finding simple information or for checking service available locally, people are more and more using the voice search feature on their smartphones to find information in quick time rather than getting on a browser and searching.

In fact, more than 50% of the total search is happening via voice currently.

All of the above point to just one thing and that is – your business cannot ignore this growing trend. It is time for your digital presence to leverage the voice search surge and hack your growth.

What do you need to do?

  • Optimize your website content for voice search. Focus on long-tail keywords, and query phrases (how to, what is, etc.) that your relevant audience is most likely to use and optimize the content accordingly.
  • Use structured data (schema markup) on your website pages in order to arrange your content as per schema markup. This will allow search engines to understand your website content better and increase the chances of better rankings for relevant searches.
  • Make use of rich snippets (a form of structured data) in order to show more data in addition to the URL and meta-data, for a search query. This will enhance the chances of getting more website traffic.
  • Implementing structured data (using suitable schema markups) also enhances the probability of rich snippets on your website to be placed in ‘SERP Position Zero’.
    • SERP (Search Engine Ranking Page) Position Zero is the snippet block right at the top of a SERP. It happens to be the top organic result now!
    • A good chunk of voice search answers come from the results that appear in ‘SERP Position Zero’
  1. Exploit Influencer Marketing

With mainstream media taking a backseat in 2020 due to lockdowns and social distancing, video platforms took center-stage. Common people took to generating video content with rigor.

No wonder, video-content-based social platforms such as TikTok, Triller, Byte, Snack Video, Kwai, Instagram Reels, and Shorts along with the ever-popular channels like YouTube, and Facebook took the world by storm in the year 2020.

This has given rise to a new breed of social media celebrities – the micro-influencers. These along with some of the bigger social media influencers provide you with a low-cost alternative to TV and radio.

What do you need to do?

  • Explore different social media channels for your marketing initiatives. Research well to figure out the channels that might be frequented by your consumer base.
  • Have an actionable influencer marketing plan and engage relevant influencers and micro-influencers to promote your brand, products, and services.
  1. Make use of Video Marketing extensively

Video has become an integral part of anybody who has a smartphone and internet access.

  • More than 55% of people use online video while actually shopping in a store (reference: Google)
  • 66% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product (reference: Wyzowl)
  • 54% of consumers want to see more video content this year (reference: Hubspot)
  • Video content is also easy to consume on any device – be it desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phones

Simply put, video marketing is among the most important marketing strategy today and will continue to remain so for a long time. Done well, video marketing is sure to hack your business growth in 2021.

What do you need to do?

  • Create explainer videos of your products/services. Create your brand’s YouTube channel.
  • Leverage video content on social media channels by creating video posts or even going live with LIVE Broadcast. You can do so on all popular social media channels.
  • Embed video content into your website. This will increase your organic traffic since Google also ranks pages with video content more favorably.
  • Reformat video content for different platforms and different purposes. Some examples include creating a blog post based on the video transcripts and publishing it with embedded video.
  • You could also turn the audio into an independent podcast!
  • Make sure that you are optimizing your videos on whichever platform they are been published. It is important that you get the meta descriptions, content summary, important links, tags, etc. in order for each LIVE video.
  1. Get More AI into Your Marketing

This is a no-brainer since Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making inroads in almost all aspects of human activities. I have addressed this point in detail in my blog, Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021.

Businesses around the world get more digitized in their functioning and attempt to deliver the most relevant, useful, and in-time products or services to their customers.

Artificial Intelligence will become a major marketing differentiator for brands.

Brands and marketers will have to adopt AI in 2021 into their main marketing activities in order to stay relevant to their audiences.

What do you need to do?

  • Get more AI into your marketing if you want your audiences to remember you and keep buying from you!
  • Some key areas where you can use AI are:
    • Personalized communication (through chatbots and consumer behavior-driven content feeds),
    • Product/Service recommendations, email personalization, and transaction assistance.
    • Another key use is of AI-powered voice assistants – more prominently used by mobile users.
  1. Retain your customers

The covid-19 pandemic has tested us in many ways in 2020, bringing values like Trust, Social Responsibility, and Humanity to the fore.

Consumers are increasingly looking for brands that are able to show that they care for the society at large. Such brands enjoy more respect and loyalty from their consumers.

What do you need to do?

  • Build and enhance a trust – as a brand get engaged in some social cause and run CSR campaigns/updates on digital.
  • Focus on sending out the right messages to your customers. Showcase your commitment to good causes. Share your CSR efforts with your customers.
  • Reward customer loyalty. Have enriching loyalty programs for your loyal customers.
  • Set up an efficient customer support system that addresses the queries of your customers.

Wrapping Up

Above are the top digital marketing strategies to grow your business in 2021.

I am summarizing these top digital marketing strategies for easy reference. So here we go…

  1. Update website for Google latest page experience update (Core Web Vitals/UI/UX)
  2. Experiment more with ads on social media platforms, OTT platforms, and retail media networks
  3. Increase social media listening and selling on social media
  4. Include Local SEO in your marketing strategy
  5. Leverage Voice Search!
  6. Exploit Influencer Marketing
  7. Make use of Video Marketing extensively
  8. Get More AI into Your Marketing
  9. Retain your customers


Armed with these strategies, you will need to add the most essential part to make these work and that is – take action!

If you need any help in creating and implementing a winning digital marketing strategy for your business growth, you can contact me at [email protected] or write to [email protected]