Organizations worldwide have had to endure a big hit because of the flare-up of COVID-19. Since then, people have changed the way they shop. In-store shopping, at this point, is an inclination. Purchasers are effectively shopping on the web, and numerous organizations have gone online to keep in touch with their customers.
With this monstrous expansion in internet shopping, the competition between organizations is quite high. Numerous brands are recruiting digital marketing companies as they are young and equipped with present-day advertising patterns.
But while there has been a shift toward online strategies, let’s not forget that digital marketing and the shift toward it are nothing new. The shift has already been taking place but has been accelerated. And some of the strategies are gaining popularity not because they’re fresh on the scene. Rather, they’ve been around a while but their efficacy as a channel for reaching potential customers has skyrocketed in this stay-at-home, virtual age.
Below is a list of the top trends for digital marketing in 2021:
1. Shoppable Posts:
Digital media has overpowered offline shopping. Now even digital shopping is evolving continuously – the aim being to make the shopping experience as seamless, easier, and inspiring as possible. Shoppable content is one such innovation that emerges as a new-age shopping venue through the integration of social content with eCommerce. This led to the emergence of shoppable posts and social shopping. Billions of people globally browse social media platforms and most of them get inspired, find new products, explore styles, and much more.
This mirrors the recent information provided by Smart Insights that people are now spending a total of 2 hours and 24 minutes scrolling through their phones on different digital platforms, giving brands a generous amount of time to reach consumers through shoppable posts, meeting consumers where they already are.
2. Voice Search:
One of the biggest developments impacting the world of digital marketing today is the widespread adoption of voice search technology, which is changing how search marketing professionals optimize websites to rank for targeted keywords and queries. Just a couple of years ago, voice search accounted for an incredibly small fraction of total searches worldwide. Today, we’re seeing more than 20 percent of all mobile searches being done by voice.
Marketers will need to optimize their content to voice-friendly terms and phrases to increase their searchability as they are becoming more common in modern households with their usage only expected to increase with further lockdowns or quarantines.
3. Video Marketing:
92% of marketers state that using video content is an active part of their campaign strategies. Video content helps persuade and attract consumers to a brand for potential conversions as people are much more likely to engage with a video as opposed to other forms of content such as a blog post or written content.
But as we’ve seen above, the nature of video content is constantly being changed and enhanced. This is why businesses need to be aware of the rising video trends so they can bring relevant content to their consumers.
4. AI-Chat Boxes:
Consumers still want a “human touch” while they shop online. This is why marketers are using artificial intelligence chat boxes to meet customers’ needs. These chat boxes speak to consumers in comprehensive sentences while answering any questions a customer may have while shopping, giving the illusion of a human interaction and involving the customer more in the process.
5. Virtual & Augmented Reality:
Technology has been expeditious in recent years with novel innovations and advancements released and tested in the market. It is a no-brainer that agencies, especially media and advertising, are always seeking opportunities to enhance their communication with the consumers. A lot of reasoning and effort goes into finding an apt way to reach out to their viewers. Agencies usually come up with creative campaigns which serve the best interest of their customers, but where they truly struggle to excel is the medium.
VR and AR technology came into existence for the sole reason to make the user experience stand out from the existing competition. These new-age immersive and interactive mediums opened gates to a lot of unutilized opportunities to communicate with consumers.
6. Interactive Content:
Marketers are finding new ways to keep consumers interested through interactive content. Approaches such as online quizzes, polls, and shoppable posts will be commonly seen throughout eCommerce social media platforms as well as their websites. With pretty much everyone now vying to attract user attention due to increased online usage, it’s crucial that you ensure your brand is creative and stands out from the competition. Creating interactive content that matches your brand identity and ethos will help with this.
7. Social Messaging Trends:
While some social media platforms are perfect places for users to chat with their friends and family, other platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are now being utilized for networking purposes by business owners. In 2021, marketers seem likely to be using these social messaging platforms to help reach their target audience as well as network with other brands at the same time.
8. Programmatic Advertising:
As a method of eliminating the guessing game of ad placements, marketers will now be able to buy an advertisement in real-time situations, placing ads in desirable places while their target audience is present. This is also a great strategy as brands will be able to spend budgets more wisely when it comes to marketing their products.
9. Artificial Intelligence Growth:
Generally speaking, artificial intelligence growth has continued to rise in 2021. Marketers are discovering new technologies to better handle customer service along with using AI to obtain in-depth information quickly. Whether it is for gathering consumer data, tracking sales and user patterns, freeing up time for employees by removing repetitive tasks, or looking to implement improved email marketing trends; 2021 is taking full advantage of artificial intelligence.
10. Email Marketing Trend
Email marketing maybe 40 years old but it’s as strong as ever. Perhaps even stronger as brands have made the shift to digital marketing channels as we navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape brought about by COVID-19. If you’re new to email marketing, now is a great time to start.
As more and more consumers shop online, there’s an even greater need to engage and connect digitally, and email marketing is a great way of doing this. You can combine personalization and automation to create a strategy that speaks to your customers while increasing your return on investment (ROI). Especially effective in a remote work environment, email marketing can be used to promote your products, vocalize your brand ethics, and send out newsletters. Emails can reach thousands of people, all at a click of a button, which is why it’s so important to prioritize building your email list.
11. Influencer Marketing
Influencers continue to be a hot topic on social media, and by the looks of it, you can expect to keep seeing more #sponsored posts flooding your feeds. Influencer marketing is on track to become a $15 billion industry by 2022 and it shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year.
Brandon Perlman, Founder, and CEO of Social Studies, Inc. predicted, “2021 is the year we believe influencer marketing will be seen as its media channel outside of tactical ‘problem solving’ or ‘nice to have content’”. Whether the demand comes from followers, brands, or new technological developments, influencers are pros at evolving to the new trends.
12. Local SEO
Small business owners must know that it’s extremely important to keep their digital presence strong on SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). If you own a store, you are probably aware that most of your customers are drawn mainly on a local level. The most important thing you can do is to ensure that your store appears on “near me” Google searches.
Google constantly updates their local SEO algorithm and you should update your local business information as well. Tools such as Google My Business offer extremely valuable information for customers, but it’s up to you as a local business owner to keep it up to date for them.
Claim your business property and get verified by Google. Then you can provide information about your business such as opening hours (that are constantly changing due to Covid restrictions), geographic location, and services.
13. Automated Smart Bidding Strategies in Google Ads
Automatization is the future in many digital marketing strategies. When running a Google Ads campaign, marketers spend lots of time and resources manually optimizing their keywords and bids. On top of being very time consuming, there could be lots of speculation that could be detrimental to your campaign.
Automated bidding on Google Ads takes away all that guesswork and helps businesses achieve their goals more efficiently. Google takes care of analyzing all the data and adjusts the bids accordingly to improve your campaign’s performance.
Even though automated bidding isn’t all that new, Google has improved a lot in the past year, making it essential for digital marketing strategies in 2021. Marketers can rest assured and dedicate their valuable time to optimizing other aspects of their marketing mix.
The world has become increasingly digital-centric since lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing requirements have been enforced. Brands need to think about what the best approach to digital marketing will be specifically for them and then work on executing it successfully for their target audiences.
As time goes on, more trends will pop up to fill other customer needs, allowing industries of all sorts to enter the digital world and compete against industry rivals. Businesses need to learn new marketing approaches for times of crisis to offer significant and relevant benefits for their consumers’ at a time when this is needed most.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has made us realize, it’s that plans can change easily. Whatever it is you predict today, may not be accurate tomorrow. You need to constantly keep an eye on the latest trends and projections to stay ahead of the competition.