Every year for the past ten years, experts assess the digital marketing landscape and make recommendations on digital marketing trends that marketers should focus on in the future. It is important that all businesses consider how they can harness the latest marketing trends so that they can apply the latest innovations. Google digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik explained the benefits of this mindset:
70% of the time we’ll be focusing on things we know that are at the heart of our business. 20% is where we try to push the boundaries. You step into known unknowns. And the last 10% is crazy experimental stuff. Trying to figure out how to do uncomfortable things that we will fail more than we will. But with every success, you are building a competitive advantage.
So, evaluating innovations can help you push the boundaries, but also improve your digital marketing activities. In this article, we bring you the top trends and key digital marketing activities that can be harnessed by businesses.
10 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021
1. More Websites will use Chatbots
With the growth of online shopping and eCommerce, the use of chatbot’s ability to converse and interact with customers like real advisors makes it an efficient and effective solution. Having an intelligent chatbot that can assist your customers 24/7 will increase conversions and customer satisfaction.
From a marketing standpoint, the use of chatbots, in addition to providing instant customer service, can be a direct source for collecting information and data from your customers. Thus, the data recorded by your chatbot can help you list the most recurring problems that your customers raise in order to easily identify them.
More recently, the use of chatbots has grown creatively to drive customer engagement and website traffic. Indeed, it is becoming less and less rare to see a chatbot window open at the bottom right of your screen, when you are browsing, to show you current promotions. The advantage is that this communication channel does not hinder your navigation since you do not leave the page you are viewing.
2. Development and Use of Intelligent Systems
Machine learning is disrupting traditional marketing. To move consumers through the different stages of the customer journey, Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning will handle decisions based on mountains of information. These automation tools make it possible to personalize, track, manage and optimize thousands of buying strategies, targeting, and advertising messages which are simply impossible for a human to do. AI makes it possible to analyze customer behavior in real-time based on socio-demographic criteria, purchase history, navigation, etc. to ultimately suggest placing a type of message, on an advertising medium at a given time.
AI will continue to grow in the area of programmatic advertising. The clever use of big data makes marketing more human: it is now possible to personalize banners and videos on a large scale. Thus, the message adapts to audiences. In 2021, artificial intelligence will devour all data to allow predictive analytics to emerge.
3. Hyper-Targeted Advertising
Perfect knowledge of your target is the first step in developing tailor-made ads. In 2021, you need to rethink your advertising strategies and offer personalized content and messages. By targeting more specific audiences, you’ll get the most out of your offers.
This is common knowledge for marketers, segmentation and targeting the right customers is the key to getting conversions. By 2021, audiences and users will get more accurate, relevant, and useful ads based on their data.
4. Implementation of AR/VR
Augmented Reality(AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) are the latest improved and trending technologies used in business marketing strategies. AR & VR enable many businesses to create immersive, virtual experiences for customers that begin from the product development stage to storytelling, and to creating content that is engaging and real life-like.
Virtual reality, for its part, allows, via a dedicated headset, to immerse yourself in an environment that completely replaces our reality. Thus, a museum like the Louvre has developed a VR experience allowing users to come face to face with the Mona Lisa. National Geographic has gone further by simply developing an application dedicated to the Oculus Quest headset, putting you in the shoes of a photographer on an expedition to the four corners of the world.
Integrating AI background remover to create transparent background images, you can build unprecedented VR/AR experiences, create mind-blowing photo-editing interfaces, making eCommerce product-customization simple and efficient.
5. Smart bidding in Google ads
In 2017, The Economist stated: “The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data”. Since the advent of big data in the 2000s by the internet and giant social media companies such as Google and Facebook, data collection has become a more important task to uncover and gain insights for marketers. Data collection helps marketers deliver highly personalized experiences to their target consumers that lead them to convert and gain profit from. It has never stopped since and is even faster now that there are more devices that amplify this movement.
Personalization at scale can help advertisers reach specific internet users at the right place and at the right time. Many digital agencies use this data in tools or applications such as automated campaigns on Google Ads. The multiplication of this data also allows more advanced A / B test strategies and therefore better performance. The growth of programmatic advertising only reinforces this trend of mass personalization.
6. Instant messaging apps
Instant messaging applications are used worldwide, every day. They are also gradually entering the corporate world and soon, it will be a complete norm to communicate with prospective customers via applications like WhatsApp, Messenger, and instant messaging applications.
For whatever purpose, whether it is to find prospective customers or providing information, contacting people directly provides a more personal experience and strengthens the conversation exchange.
7. Increase in Video Content
With the explosion of TikTok that democratized short videos, this content format is fast becoming the cornerstone of brands’ content marketing strategy.
This generation wants to consume content as quickly as possible and short videos are good and fun ways to grab the attention of viewers while getting the message across without taking much of their time. Other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube understood this trend and released platforms of their own.
Instagram relies so heavily on this engaging format that it uses it as a gateway to e-commerce. Indeed, the social network allows influencers posting short videos in Reels, to add clickable links on displayed products so that viewers can buy them.
8. More Promotions Through Influencers
Influencer Marketing has continued to take up space throughout 2020 and even more this year. Influencers are increasingly popular on social networks and are becoming a real channel of communication. Now a business in its own right, influencing is one of the most effective ways to correctly target a specific audience!
Choosing an influencer to promote their services or products has become a hub of digital marketing. An influencer has a most often targeted community, which allows you to have a direct impact on a large mass of personalities. Someone they trust introduces a product, and they feel like trying it out.
By choosing an ambassador, you will be able to organize contests offering one of your services or products. Often, the contest conditions state that in order to enter, users must follow your account. You grow your own community by building it only with a targeted audience.
9. Content Marketing
As mentioned, video content is on-trend and popular these days. However, other marketing contents like audio podcasts and blogs are still as important. Thus, this year, content marketing will try to push its limits even further.
Whether it is content that needs to be watched, read, or listened to, the best way to nurture your community is to create content that they can relate to and interact with. A survey, a contest with prizes to be won, or open questions, all this does not go unnoticed and your community will love to give its opinion especially if you take it into account afterward.
10. Next Generation SEO
For many years, the goal of SEO has been to get your website or advertisement at the top of the search results. From 2021, the primary focus will be the same, but to be ahead of zero-click searches.
The zero position refers to optimized snippets from Google pages, and this is where the digital marketing and SEO trends of 2021 are prioritizing. Position zero is shown differently from other search results. It is separate from the other results and sits in a small area at the very top of the page which displays the most relevant information that answers the queries made by the user. Since it aims to answer the user inquiry immediately without the user having the need to click anything, it is called a “zero-click search”.
As the world goes through times of turbulence, marketing takes hold and aims to be more human and closer to consumers.
Part of having a good business strategy is looking to the future and evaluating the latest technologies that can reach their customers. Today technology has turned the world into a big village in terms of communication. Information sharing is easier and more accessible than ever before and it enables us to raise product awareness easily and effectively promote services. But what always matters is finding the solution that best meets your needs, and not just going for the new and the shiny.