Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2021
Updated: Mar 3, 2021
With the onset of the pandemic, 2020 has been a game changer for the business world dependent on the digital technologies. Though the Covid-19 pandemic instigated a state of undesirable chaos all over the world, it has accelerated the utility of digital technologies and services to flourish businesses globally. The adoption of digital technologies and services by businesses, have grown massively during the pandemic and post-pandemic, opening new sources of revenue.
Digital marketing has changed the ecosystem of trade since the last few years with different marketing trends and most importantly, the changing algorithms of the Big Tech. The digital marketing trends in 2020 pivots around trends that were adopted to deal with the impact of the global pandemic on businesses. But as we leave behind 2020, what are the digital marketing trends of 2021 that will be advantageous for the business in the post-pandemic year?
Below we have listed the most important digital marketing trends to be followed in 2021 in India and all over the world.
Fabric of the business world is digitalized
Businesses of various kinds were pushed to experiment digital marketing trends in 2020 as no physical activity was allowed during the incessant lockdowns, all activities were shifted from the physical realm to digital. No matter how much turmoil the pandemic brought about in this world, the businesses that operated online clearly went uphill and also a lot of bricks and mortar businesses embraced digital marketing tactics to survive in the market! These business groups must acknowledge the importance of digital technologies and services, and follow the digital marketing trends of 2021 to have a fruitful year.
The paradigm shift in the business domain will be evident in the digital marketing trends of 2021 with a few latest trends and some that never go out of trend will be repeated this year.
Personalization in Digital Marketing
Personalization is essential for a fast and hassle-free consumer experience, certainly in 2021 as the pandemic caused online businesses to reach new heights in 2020. Personalized marketing refers to giving a tailored marketing experience to their customers of what they are looking for and also by anticipating their future needs.
There are a lot of companies that are earning ample of profits by giving personalized digital experience to their users, like Netflix and Amazon who act like mind readers for their customers by serving them with the best of product recommendations and movie lists. Netflix generated revenue of approximately $9 billion in 2016 from its personalized digital experience to the customers and it increases by almost 30% every year. While Amazon’s personalization tactics pays off mostly through its recommendations algorithm. Basically, personalization helps gain trust and relevance on the customer’s end. (source)
Consumers’ trust on User generated content (UGC)
User generated content (UGC), as the term itself suggests is the content created by the users or customers of the products. Reviews and feedbacks by another consumer seem to be more trustworthy for a consumer who is new to your brand. The customer tries to see through the eyes of other customers, most of the users find advertisers over-exaggerating the products as said in a 2013 survey that ads are “somewhat exaggerated” and they are unlikely to make decisions on the basis of an advertise (source).
Hence, UGC works like indirect recommendations from one consumer to another winning equal value from both sellers and users.
The Reign of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
One of the most popular terms heard in 2020, Artificial Intelligence or AI, will continue to be a digital marketing trend also in 2021 and further because of its augmenting profits for the businesses. Artificial intelligence is a set of computers or machines that are given human like features of thinking and analyzing on different matters of concern with the use of machine learning. Machine learning is sometimes misconstrued with AI which is actually a subset of AI that helps recover data from the past in order to find out the accurate output. The capitalization of AI is already changing the world in many aspects.
But most importantly, the evolution of AI has its impact on the business processes, as many industries have turned to AI with the purpose of making profits. The most important human characteristic of AI algorithms are decision making and problem solving, performed by accessing to a wide range of data available on the web. This digital data is then used by the AI to gather information from various sources, analyze them and make complex decisions on the basis of its analytics on the subject. Artificial Intelligence is definitely transforming the world with its intelligence in various fields like state affairs, healthcare, finance, education and so forth.
Growth of Influencer Marketing
There are some trends that make their way into the trend list of every year. One such digital marketing trend of 2021 is Influencer marketing. The pandemic accelerated the use of digital platforms among different groups of people because of obvious reasons! People have started following influencers like never before; from following their daily skincare routine to the brands they wear. The demand for influencer marketing seems to be booming since 2020, influencers have been creating content from their kitchens and balconies as a part of influencing on social media. Video content has gained more attention from the public then just pictures! The demand for influencer marketing multiplied because of some upgradations like reels on instagram, live streaming on insta and facebook, which gave more authenticity and engagement. A lot of profit-making businesses have slashed their budgets in 2020, taking influencer marketing to its grassroot level and encouraging micro and nano influencers from various backgrounds to rise in 2021.
Importance of Google Listings
Google My Business listings play a major role in inviting traffic to your business page. It shows the authenticity of a page. It helps your business grow in your area as it provides information about your geographical location and guides potential customers to your business link appearing in “near me”.
The reviews on GMB are informative for the customers and most of them approach a particular brand based on their GMB reviews. The information posted on the GMB profile should be updated so as to give the correct information. Businesses align themselves with Google My Business to let their products or services be out there for the public and know about its geographic location, open hours, star ratings and reviews from users, everything in just one click.
The Need For Interactive Content
Interactive content is the fuel that keeps the engine of content marketing moving. Without interactive content, users are likely to lose interest in your brand, product or service. It is important to create content that is engaging for the existing users and can drive more traffic to your business.
Content marketing involves designing effective and unique content regularly, but creating quality content every time can be a tough task and this is where interactive content like quizzing, polling, assessment tools, configurators, calculators and such, indulge the users in your content and helps them gain knowledge about the profit-making updates in your brand, product or service.
Focus on Google ‘Featured Snippets’
Google Featured Snippets refers to the box that appears above Google’s organic results. This box appears like a list of queries by users which has the desired answers. The answers are short cuts that land on pages that have higher ranking on Google. Not every page that is on the SERP get featured on this query section, but chances are better for a ranked page to be on the Google 'featured snippets' box.
According to Ahrefs, "12.29% of search queries have featured snippets in their search results". (source) Hence, a page that is ranked on the SERP and 'featured snippets' has greater chances of driving traffic into their page as these snippets definitely catches the eye!
Growth of Video Content
Though the making of video content begun almost a decade ago, there has been a comparative rise in the video content since the inception of 4G network and availability of mobile data at reasonable prices, especially in a country like India. People have been more engaged with video content and hence it has become a great tool for digital marketing. A survey in 2019 was conducted by Wyzowl said, “85% of businesses use video as a marketing tool”(source). As videos attract a huge number of traffic in today’s time, it is suggestive for the marketers to adopt video content or transform from just typographic content.
Voice search is one of those trends which have been increasing in its usage year after year. With popular search engines, like Google, introducing the voice search feature, a huge category of people have started using voice search in daily basis. Also a rise in the users of smartphones and smart speakers with virtual assistant AI technology, like Siri and Alexa, heightens the utility graph of voice command. A hypothesis has been made in the voice search statistics of 2020 that 55% of household in the US will be owning a smart speaker by 2022 (source). Hence, the marketers must focus on the modification of their keywords based on voice searches to be positioned in the SERPs.
A friendly approach towards attracting customers is through conversational marketing. Digital marketing has developed this marketing strategy not too long ago, which gathers online crowd with the aid of an automated conversation chatbot that converts random visitors into leads, through real-time conversations with the potential customers. Conversational marketing gives human like features to a website, making buyers experience a virtual shop where they can chat with the seller.
The Rise of Content Creators
Platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram unlocked a realm of opportunities for the talented people across the globe who have been working hard to get the attention they deserve. With the advent of Covid 19 pandemic, the demand of content creators have inclined as the industry aims for public’s trust and loyalty. A lot of brands these days are investing on content creators as they grab the users’ attention through their ability to attract audiences by sharing positive experiences. A content creator promoting a brand seems like an insider outsider for the users whom they can trust before purchasing a product or service.
The growth of digital marketing has been progressive ever since its inception, but with 2020 and the corona virus pandemic; the realm has grown rapidly, reaping all the benefits of staying indoors and going extensively digital.
With the above mentioned digital marketing trends and ideas, marketers are expected to take digital marketing to newer heights in 2021.
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