10 Top Digital Marketing Developments in 2021Mayleen Meñez
In digital marketing, creating a strong online presence is a must, and marketers are adapting to retain their brand’s competitive edge. Trends in digital marketing continue to direct brands in the market to the best viable ways of getting leads and increasing conversions.
Check the upcoming developments in digital marketing that we will see more of in 2021.
Digital Marketing Trends to Follow in 2021
Conversational marketing facilitates real-time, one-on-one connections between marketers and customers. Here are some samples below:
Image Source: Mobile Monkey
About 82% of customers want quick answers to their queries. But aside from fast responses, they also prefer conversational marketing since it’s more personal.
It helps brands give meaningful user experiences, thus improving their online presence. This feedback-driven model also promotes greater interaction with and loyalty among your consumers.
In the current Gartner hype cycle, conversational marketing was highlighted as a vital advancement alongside Artificial Intelligence, and both will be more in demand in 2021.
Image Source: Gartner
Interactive Content Will Become Mainstream
In line with conversational marketing, interactive content will also be more in demand in 2021. Interactive content engages users through content that they can click on, swipe, manipulate, or interact with.
Interactive content is 93% highly efficient at transmitting information and communicating with audiences. It can include formats such as quizzes, polls, AV/VR ads, 360-degree videos, and the like. Watch this sampler of what interactive content via 360 VR video looks like:
Interactive content is more persuasive, thereby providing market leads and conversions more efficiently. 91% of consumers actively favor interactive content. It’s fresh, special, people like it, helping customers relate with the brand more, and with the availing of its products or services.
Here’s another sample of an interactive portfolio website.
Image Source: Nurture Digital
Social Commerce & Shoppable Posts
Social media is very popular not just for entertainment and communication, but also for eCommerce, or “Social Commerce.”
Recently, shoppable posts on various social media platforms are now available. Brands are now doing SMO (Social Media Optimization) to maximize opportunities for sales.
In March 2019, Instagram launched Instagram Checkout, which enables users to complete their Instagram purchases within the app:
Image Source: LuluLemon
Social networking has evolved to “Social Commerce,” or eCommerce through social media platforms.
This is not surprising when there are close to 4 billion social media users worldwide.
Shoppable posts are on most of the popular social media sites. Brands that have already been doing SMO (Social Media Optimization) were able to catch on quickly, especially on Instagram.
Instagram Checkout started in 2019. Due to the pandemic, this trend picked up further in 2020 and will become mainstream in 2021. This works best for Instagram users because they can now complete Instagram purchases within the app.
Because of shoppable posts, brands are able to minimize cart abandonment and brand switching, which further fuels visual ads on different social media platforms.
More and more brands use AI-powered technology for marketing automation. For example, Artificial Intelligence to optimize UX (User Experience) is now used in digital marketing.
AI-powered machine learning also allows “always-on” features used for marketing campaigns, voice search technology, smart assistants, hyper-personalization, and other cloud-based technologies.
Because of AI automation, brands can concentrate on marketing campaigns and create more meaningful experiences.
Video Marketing is a Must
Text-based content simply cannot compete with how compelling video content is. This becomes more obvious when selling goods and services online.
People are consuming more video than ever. Statistics show that 70% of customers post a brand’s video. Video content brings a 72% increase in conversion rates.
Live streaming and influencer marketing combined is also effective. It appeals to the younger generation, so influencers are resorting to live video streaming to communicate with their audience and receive instant feedback.
For example, Twitch has more than 15 million active users daily, mostly watching live videos from popular gaming influencers like Ninja, recently signing an exclusive agreement with Microsoft-owned Mixer.
Video is also more preferred by customers wanting to learn about new products.
There are many ways to boost engagement and video marketing is one of them. If your website includes video, it can increase your site’s chances of driving organic search results 50 times more than text content. Google also pushes pages that have video content to higher rankings.
Native Facebook videos receive a much higher share of impression and engagement than shared YouTube videos. You can also use video thumbnails to optimize email marketing campaigns, using the keyword “video” in the subject header. This increases your email campaign’s open rates by 19%
Marketing in Messaging Apps Will Level-Up
Social media applications are not just about keeping in contact with family and friends. Recently, businesses are using apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for marketing.
By 2021 and in the next five to seven years, messenger marketing will be the world’s leading marketing platform. Brands are moving towards messaging channels, especially since Facebook Messenger marketing generates 10 to 80 times more engagement than organic posts on Facebook News Feed.
Omnichannel Marketing is Now Vital
Omnichannel marketing is marketing on various platforms, including email, applications, social media, and blogging sites. This approach enables companies to connect more digital touchpoints with consumers, providing an improved user experience.
Using various platforms helps brands achieve a stronger online presence and clearer brand identity. Marketing via omnichannel increases interaction by more than three times.
The increased visibility improves user satisfaction and increases conversion, even repeat orders.
Businesses can leverage data insights via AI and machine learning to better understand and optimize consumer preferences and then optimize it at the highest level.
When brands use three or more channels in an automation workflow, the engagement rate is 18.96% on omnichannel compared to single-channel marketing at 5.4%. Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel marketing compared to single-channel marketing at 13% only.
More and more SaaS and Micro-SaaS companies also provide tools to handle multiple channels more effectively. So even if it is challenging in reality, there are ways to make it simpler through leveraging software and using automation.
Good Content and Context Still Matters
Content marketing is any brand’s best foot forward. It is one of the strongest, and still the best marketing strategy. It remains at the core of digital marketing, and without it, marketing would not be marketing at all.
Quality will still matter despite the emerging trends and technologies of digital marketing. But in 2021, there will be greater focus and precision on targeting the right market to optimize every type of content and platform used.
With the presence of measuring and analytics tools, this is much easier to do. Instead of throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks, digital marketers can maximize the power of good content to produce the best possible consumer-matching.
Google may constantly update its search algorithm, but great content will still have the basic requirements to make it high-quality. It should be relevant, compelling, and clear. It should be able to bring leads and increase conversions. Its impact should have a compounding, more long-lasting effect.
If you are making great content as a habit, you will be able to keep up as a brand to Google’s ever-changing, regularly updated search engine. Just like you, Google also aims to match the best possible content to users’ search queries. Just like your brand’s aim, search engines have the consumers in mind.
So keep writing for people, not for bots or analytics. Keep meeting people’s current needs, providing solutions to their most pressing problems or queries. Keep focusing on your niche so you can harness your content and provide answers where you can be most accountable, credible, and influential.
Content marketing makes your audience see your business as a trusted resource. It will remain integral especially since Google will continue preferring high-quality content that is in-depth and closely connected with user purpose.
Advocacy marketing is a social media marketing strategy that more and more marketers are prioritizing. It involves getting customers who are now loyal followers of the brand to talk about your brand and products.
Having existing customers publicly supporting and promoting your brand is a plus since 80% of shoppers do online research before purchasing.
In fact, 83% of shoppers trusted referrals from family and friends or recommendations from fellow customers. Word of mouth referral marketing may be free, but that path to get there is a combination of different techniques to bring meaningful customer experiences.
One of the most successful ways to expand the business is word-of-mouth-marketing. It helps your target market get to know you and other people who promote your brand for you. You build more vital credibility and gain the trust of your consumers even more.
As mentioned, advocacy is one of the most affordable ways to strengthen your brand reputation and get new leads. You can optimize prior efforts and investments when your happy customers begin talking about you, your products, and your services.
Hyperlocal Business Operations
Major companies will improve their capacity to function hyper-locally over the next few years. Local medium-sized enterprises will compete with global standards, increase their businesses, and even expand locations.
Businesses must design architectures that can spread customer experience and business operations structures to key regional locations while retaining centralized technology management.
Leveraging software to grow the business is also a wise move. For instance, Microsoft Outlook is a staple among businesses for its superb email services. You can set up schedules, reminders, and visual presentations on your email with no fuss. Users can also read emails without looking, to name a few. Experts need this modern PIM software in their PC to level up their messaging system, especially among distributed teams.
Read more on 11 New Digital Technology Developments to Catch in 2021.
Conclusion: Stand Out in 2021 with Digital Marketing
Since there are more of your target market online, brands need to find effective ways to reach this more extensive group of consumers, especially those within your locality.
Using digital marketing helps brands optimize marketing strategies in the most cost-effective and measurable methods.
Digital marketing provides an opportunity to reach the global marketplace without the usual costs of global marketing.
Employing these digital strategies helps build brand loyalty, especially since you can monitor marketing efforts immediately when it is done through digital marketing.