Not long ago, your everyday salesmen seemed to push products better than any digital marketer could. But that landscape has encountered a drastic change with the spike in social media and marketing ideas associated with it. These are the ads that you see popping up in popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, among others.
The 2020 global pandemic suddenly left businesses that stuck to traditional strategies in the dark – outdated and, to a degree, redundant. However, this unexpected change gave a significant boost to the virtual space. From workplace activities to everyday social movements, the digital frameworks that had been rubbing shoulders with traditional marketing methods crossed their boundaries, becoming more relevant, more viable, and stronger than ever.
We are now in 2021, and it is the year where you can reinforce your newer digital strategies with little to no backlash from traditional thinkers. As the digital marketing landscape is here to stay, many have already begun making the most of it – for better or worse.
After analyzing these seismic changes, we have listed some of the most popular digital marketing trends expected to take center stage in this era of digital marketing in 2021.
As several companies develop their personalized apps for a hundred percent virtualization, it is safe to say that many are rethinking their idea of a closed workspace model. Enforced due to COVID-19 but won over because of convenience, most of these businesses have proven that they can function virtually just as efficiently, if not better, than through physical interaction.
Moreover, as stated earlier, social media has become a phenomenal contributor to most of these digital efforts.
And with virtual workplaces becoming ubiquitous, the following digital marketing trends of 2021 have shown to emerge the fastest or are the most adaptive of the lot.
Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly harder to ignore when talking about the advantages of digital marketing. Nowadays, “AI” has become a household term in most digital marketing verticals, with as much as 71% of B2B marketers resorting to using AI for ad personalization.
According to studies conducted by Techgrabyte, AI has the potential to increase the worldwide GDP by 14% by the year 2030. As much as 60% of global digital marketers will be turning to AI-assisted marketing strategies in the future.
Using AI in marketing, a business was able to increase its website’s monthly visitors count significantly. Let’s see how that happened. With AI’s assist in understanding which high-value topics ranked, the company knew what they had to talk about next. The AI also let them see where their competitors ranked for each of these topics.
With this help, they understood the gaps and opportunities in their current content plans, leading them to create content around these key topics, quickly establishing the company as an expert. They saw themselves ranked for multiple positions in a single search result and gained domain authority to secure Google’s featured snippet for specific results.
Studies show that 82% of consumers expect an instant response to their inquiries and complaints. Let’s face it: 24/7 support is not easy, and that’s precisely where the chatbots come in. With some newer programs capable of making the consumers feel “heard,” you can now enable effective communication with your potential buyers passively and with positive results.
Conversational marketing’s essential objective is to upgrade the customer experience through a feedback-driven model that encourages higher commitment and brand allegiance.
With new-age buyers being bombarded with innumerable opportunities to discover or be distracted by competing businesses, you cannot miss any opportunity to grab their attention. So, as companies gear up for the future, it is inevitable that being accessible across an expansive range of channels is becoming their priority. And conversational marketing helps facilitate this one-to-one connection between you and your customer.
What happens when a business sets up a chatbot? From day one, these chatbots would be able to interact, qualify leads, and book meetings without human intervention. Being online 24×7, even leads who land on the website out of hours can engage with the chatbots.
In their first quarter of activity alone, a business saw a considerable increase in live chat conversations. What’s more, they were able to respond to the majority of new conversations in less than a minute.
And, by connecting the sales teams’ calendars with it, they were able to increase the number of meetings booked through the chatbots from 10% to 40% in this first quarter of activity alone.
As much as 90% of consumers find personalized advertising useful, with 80% saying they would buy products from organizations giving them a customized experience.
Amazon is a well-known mastermind at such personalized marketing for people, as they offer products to you that you have searched for recently on other online pages. Netflix is another such example – their “recommended series” that you are dying to watch is no coincidence.
So, grabbing eyeballs is the rule of the game, which is precisely why your marketing strategies’ personalization is one of the most viable and valid options for staying relevant in 2021.
A startup dog food company wanted to cut through the crowded dog food market and raise awareness of its brand. So launched a personalized campaign. They worked with a creative agency to develop an algorithm for pulling information from the city’s Dog Licensing Dataset.
They created personalized poster ads (over 100,000) for these individual dogs based on their age, size, breed, and name, and placed these ads at popular dog walking routes near the owner’s zip code location.
These ads drove a 65% spike in website users within a week and a 144% increase in organic web searches for the brand.
Any blog about 2021’s digital marketing trends isn’t complete without mentioning video marketing at least once. Visuals have always been and will continue to be the most effective medium to market products.
More than 50% of consumers say that watching videos about the product makes them want to buy it. And also, up to 72% of organizations benefit from making videos to market their products, which makes video marketing an everlasting trend. With the online environment increasingly generating more users by the hour, the only possible trajectory is an upward one – just like what this airliner saw.
Planning ahead for the holiday season, the airliner created a 15-second video. It featured people on vacation in breath-taking places, from sandy beaches, bustling markets to Alpine wonderlands, and rewinding them back to the one-step they had to take. Book a flight.
This strategy was a success; in just one month, 52% of the conversions through YouTube were directly attributed to this ad.
Influencers. The spokespersons of the web. Not a day goes by where people don’t happen upon these pseudo-celebrities. And, of course, you are more inclined to buy something after getting a recommendation from someone you hold in high regard.
Nearly 60% of consumers claim to have bought products endorsed through word-of-mouth marketing by their favorite influencers. Additionally, 35% of homemakers have claimed to have been swayed by them and accepted their product recommendations.
Thus, it is believed that influencer marketing will drive the lion’s share of the online marketing landscape in 2021. Here’s what a brand in the crowded food space who wanted to stand out during their limited-edition launch did.
It came up with an idea to align its product with influencers who had already built-up credibility and a loyal fan following. The resulting creator-driven branded content featured on top bakers’ lists generated a 22% lift in purchase intent. And the overall campaign was the key to driving more than 50% of its retail sales.
‘Zuckerberg-ian’ marketing techniques have been encountering a constant rise over the past decade. This decade will not be any different as Social Media Marketing (SMM) has proven to be one of the most significant digital marketing channels that promise superior returns. Just look at what a so-far anonymous company could achieve with one successful campaign.
Through social media marketing efforts, a permanent marker company had taken an ordinary commodity and turned it into a synonym. What was that they did?
The company created works of art using their markers, and through creative Instagram posts, ran a simple virtual challenge. Now, they have formed their own community and a fan following.
Up there with both video marketing and word of mouth marketing, content marketing has time and again proven to be effective.
Studies conducted to reinforce this view concluded that more than 80% of organizations feel that the more content they create, the more credible their customers perceive them to be.
Compared to its predecessor, outbound marketing, content marketing seems to cost 62% lower while giving 3X more profit to the marketer. Also, small businesses that create blogs have 126% more engagement metrics than those that don’t. Here’s an example:
A commercial construction company created well-chosen content capturing the sweet spot between traffic value and ranking difficulty. In just six months after they had boosted the most potential pages based on currently used keywords and data-driven optimizations, they saw all their primary keywords ranked on the top positions of SERP, increasing their visibility by a huge margin.
Given that these studies are relatively recent, one would do well not to ignore content marketing when analyzing.
With all these stats on the table, it is safe to say that you will make the most of it if you could strategize on these digital marketing trends. The landscape and the benefits of digital marketing are ever-changing, and it literally pays to keep up with the changes.
With the world bouncing back to a new normal, these trends can offer you a definitive way forward on your next marketing endeavor. All said and done; the market is a living, breathing, unpredictable entity. And we can help you take control of your digital marketing strategy in 2021.