If you were to converse about machine learning and how artificial intelligence would be a strong determinant in making business decisions years ago, you might be regarded as overly ambitious and being too forward.
However, today we can see how artificial intelligence, voice search optimization, and even blockchain technology have continued to affect marketing and even customer buying decisions. And this is something you shouldn’t ignore if you want to remain relevant in your industry as a business professional.
Although 2020 was quite a rough year due to the pandemic, a lot of these trends played pivotal roles during that period and their use keeps increasing. In 2021, we expect an increase in their use and the introduction of other concepts such as these. So, let’s quickly consider 30 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2021.
30 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2021
1. Artificial Intelligence
According to Investopedia, Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. The term may also be applied to any machine that exhibits traits associated with a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.
In a lot of ways, artificial intelligence has controlled different aspects of our lives. For example, self-driving cars are made possible through the use of A.I. In business, a lot of businesses have created messaging platforms that give automatic replies to customer problems.
Forbes comments AI helps improve sales forecasting, predict customer needs, and improve communication. And intelligent machines can help sales professionals manage their time and identify who they need to follow-up with and those customers might be ready to convert. A.I truly remains one of the biggest digital marketing trends in 2021.
Chatbots are software applications that use either text or speech in real-life conversations with humans. They’re programmable as they offer stated replies to frequently asked questions any person can have.
Learning Hub predicts that chatbots will power 85% of web conversations, and you would be really dumb to ignore using this in your business.
Because of the interest rate, a lot of companies like Facebook have chatbots they have set up to help people run their businesses on the platform easily. You can also create your own chatbot as well to help you take care of first-time customers and their obvious questions while you focus on other areas of your business.
3. Conversational Marketing
A lot of people would rather opt to have an individual relationship with them, instead of machines. A restaurant in Chinese tested its service using both humans and robots when it came to taking customer orders.
The results showed that people who the robot took their orders felt displeased, while those who had humans take their orders had another view totally. Indeed, this shows how much people accept and treat human conversations as compared to programmed codes.
Conversational marketing is one of the digital marketing trends you cannot ignore in 2021 if you plan to remain relevant in your industry. A customer who gets treated to great service will return to get a similar treatment again.
Carnegie said, “There is no sweeter sound to one’s ear than the sound of his name.” In the digital world now, personalization has become a powerful part of marketing campaigns and a lot of APIs have helped further developed its effectiveness.
Hubspot agrees with this narrative as personalized messaging conversations have higher conversation rates compared to other forms of marketing. The chart below is evidence to strengthen this claim.
With personalization in marketing, you communicate a sense of value to your customers and when someone feels good about you, trust me, they will buy from you. Conclusively, if you have not been making the best of personalized messaging, then you need to start utilizing one of the biggest digital marketing trends in 2021 immediately.
Crafting personalized messages is a lot of work, however, we love hard work making it easy for you to focus on your business. Book a Free Marketing Consultation with our team by clicking “I want a Free Consultation Session” so we can help you with automated personalized messages.
5. Video Marketing
According to Smart Insights, 92% of marketers say it’s an important part of their marketing strategy. In 2020, 92% of marketers say that video is an important part of their marketing strategy. This has grown from 78% in 2015, showing that the importance of video is only growing.
The chart by Hubspot shows that there is an ever-increasing demand for videos than articles.
So, instead of simply relying on long-form content to communicate, especially the usability of an item, you can create a short video that simply shows describes all you want to share. This short video will drive more numbers and give you better conversations than any article.
6. Influencer Marketing
David makes an interesting comment: “If you produce a product or service which exceeds your customers’ expectations while fulfilling their needs and wants, it will basically sell itself (within reason).” While I can partly agree with this, I would still say it’s an incomplete statement and shouldn’t be adopted as a rule.
People can only use products they know about and this is a fact. So, after you’ve created the product, create a marketing strategy that allows a lot of people know that this product exists and it can solve their problems.
Influencer marketing is a strong digital marketing trend you shouldn’t ignore in 2021. It is a strong brand awareness technique that can help you increase your leads, get more customers, and ultimately scale your profits. Believing that your customers don’t listen to influencers will be naïve on your part.
7. Social Messaging Applications
Social messaging applications make it easy to transfer information from one end to another despite geographical differences. Due to increased demands, a lot of social media applications are currently in the market with each platform communicating its distinct value proposition to its target market.
Social messaging applications are the easiest way of connecting a group of people together, and the growth in the use of Whatsapp is proof of this theory. Business Insider gives us a full report regarding the growth in user numbers when it came to these applications.
8. Visual Search
It’s generally difficult to search for a word you can’t completely remember on the internet. In fact, you might get results that will further draw you from your point of confusion to the place where you simply forfeit your search.
Google and a lot of other search engines identified this problem and introduced the visual search feature. This feature enables you to take pictures of anything and search them on Google to find similarities and get the results you want.
Visual has helped businesses keep their customers focused on the choice or similarities to their choice. For example, if you were to search for a black dress online, search engines will gather pictures of all kinds of dresses and display them for you. However, if you were to take a picture of the dress and use visual search, you will only get pictures of the shade and type of black dress you captured.
9. Voice Search & Smart Speakers
The voice search market has blossomed with the introduction of Apple’s Siri and Google’s assistant applications. And of course, voice search makes it easy when you want to keep typing and rest your hands.
With the introduction of smart speakers, you don’t need to stretch or even use a remote control when you want to turn up the music, make calls, set alarms and get reminders about the tasks you need to do. Although smart speakers are not affordable, with more people producing these devices, there will be a crash in the price.
In 2021, you will need to make your brand has to be easy to reach through voice search and smart speakers. This way, your customers can easily reach you when they want you which makes you a top choice for them.
10. Big Data and Deep Learning
Big Data and Deep Learning have formed an important path in the optimization of content targeted at a market. Science Direct explains the concept of deep learning as the process involved in digging large volumes of data to automatically identify patterns and extract features from complex unsupervised data without the involvement of humans, which makes it an important tool for Big Data analysis.
The big data and deep learning market started gaining traction in 2014 and Grand Research projects it will skyrocket by 2025.
11. Google Ads Smart Bidding
When you need to use machine learning for optimization of conversions or its equivalent value in an auction, smart bidding is the name that describes the process. Increasing CPC, maximizing conversion value, and raising conversions are all strategies that smart bidding leverages to perform its complete function.
Data from Think with Google shows ICICI Prudential AMC, India’s largest (by Assets Under Management) Mutual Fund Company improved their ROI using Smart Bidding. Correct identification of keywords and query volumes helped them activate tCPA based bidding campaigns that delivered a 70% increase in SIP Transactions with a 27% drop in cost per transaction.
12. SERP Position Zero
When you search any type of keyword on Google or any other search engine, you will see millions of results relevant to your search. However, on your primary screen, you will see only about ten results and this is where 90% of searchers get their results. So, if you have any article that doesn’t feature on that page, it’s almost useless. Notwithstanding the ten results available on your screen, the obvious result you will see comes with a huge description.
On the search result, you see that this content has a broader view with key details about the content inserted into that large box. I define the large box as the featured snippet, and that is where you want your content to stay.
Getting the featured snippet is difficult, and Ahref’s research on the rich snippet reveals something very interesting. It shows that results on the rich snippet steal 8.6% of clicks from the 26% of the No 1 ranking content unlike when there’s no rich snippet.
Branding is important in a wide market filled with too many options—you can easily get lost in the fray. When we asked many people about their connection to certain brands, their answers revolved around class, uniqueness, customer service, competence, and affordability among many others.
And of course, Google’s update has taken a hard hit at amateur bloggers as they demand that experts create content on subject matters instead of the usual outsourcing to writers. The update ensures that every content must possess expertise, be written by an authority, and must be trusted by the web.
A good way to ensure your brand remains relevant would be to create a good bio besides showing up at conferences, honoring speaking engagements, and more. However, before you get into that, you need to start with the genesis of branding.
Your branding name needs to be top-notch and you need professionals with the experience to help give your business a unique branding that will draw customers. Book a Free Marketing Consultation with our team by clicking “I want a Free Consultation Session” so we can help you make your branding game great.
14. Social Media Stories
Social media stories have garnered a lot of traffic since their introduction on many social media platforms. This attention has drawn many advertisers who place their adverts on social media stories.
With user numbers increasing and social media story interests rising, you will be making the wrong choice not to utilize this digital marketing trend in 2021. Perhaps, it might be the boost you need to shoot up your sales and profits.
15. Browser Push Notifications
I am not a big fan of push notifications, however; I use them a lot in my marketing. Push notifications are one of the biggest channels that draw traffic to any business. And they are a good way of getting first-time users to return to your platform.
Push notifications handle about 25% of the traffic that blogs, websites, and mobile applications get. They are a very instrumental tool in helping subscribers and users get the best offers at the right time.
Subscribers remain one of the best platforms that can help you set up push notification messages easily and push notifications to remain one of the Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore in 2021
16. Content Marketing
Writing great content like this takes some work, however, when the target market doesn’t see or read the content, it becomes an exercise in futility and this is where content marketing comes to play.
Content marketing as an important part of marketing deals with the strategic distribution of content–oral or written–to channels wherein they can more people can get to read the content. There are a lot of content marketing strategies, however, guest and sponsored posts are prevalent at this time.
A lot of things make guest posts interesting and Lucatagliaferro offers a chart that shows all the benefits of guest posting today.
Writing quality content is demanding. And you can’t push all that effort into content no one reads—you should ensure your audience reads your content. At Socialander, we can help you with your content marketing, which is a good funnel to get leads. Book a Free Marketing Consultation with our team by clicking “I want a Free Consultation Session” so we can get your content to the right individuals and help you increase sales.
17. Interactive Content
Interactive content is one digital marketing trend you shouldn’t fail to utilize in 2021. As personalization continues to become a necessary part of digital marketing, you need to ensure you tailor your content to be personalized and interactive.
When you make content interactive, your users get to contribute massively to the journey of that platform and that’s a strong way to build followership. Visually engaging content is a necessary implementation technique you must employ.
18. Omnichannel Marketing
There might be one way to visit the moon, however, that isn’t the case in marketing. In marketing, you need to use as many channels as possible. The truth remains; your target market doesn’t sit in a place waiting for you to come to bamboozle them with your product, they search for the next best thing- in fact; they work with digital marketing trends that you ignore.
To find the target market, you may need to run tests across all platforms you know, although some of them are niched. For example, LinkedIn is a platform interested in helping business professionals connect and do business together while Facebook is a platform interested in connecting humans of all demographics.
19. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
A lot of platforms use progressive web apps. Well, it’s the surest way to connect with your audience without having to do a lot of work. And it’s something you must look into as a business professional or marketer.
However, unlike normal web applications, progressive web applications help you run applications offline, run background processing gives support for push notifications, offers high performance, and grants access to the phone’s sensors.
Leveraging progressive web apps help your customers connect with you quickly without restrictions. And you would save money and time when you use a progressive web application. You can leverage Web Dev to learn about PWAs.
20. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Everyone feels valuable when they see their contribution to a journey or process. A lot of platforms have got their users to contribute to their platform by generating content for them.
Medium is a platform that depends wholly on user-generated content. On this platform, users share content regarding their growth process, how to manipulate certain software, and how to get the best information on products, marketing, and services.
Creating a space for user-generated content will ensure that your platform always maintains a high level of traffic while connecting numerous like-minded people. This digital marketing trend is what companies like Facebook are doing with their room feature.
21. Blockchain Technology
Immediately the word “blockchain” comes up, a lot of thoughts gravitate towards the crypto market. Indeed, it’s a terminology used to describe the framework of the crypto hub, however, that is not the end of the conversation but only the beginning.
Simplilearn thinks of blockchain technology as a structure that stores transactional records, also known as the block, of the public in several databases, known as the “chain,” in a network connected through peer-to-peer nodes. Typically, this storage is referred to as a ‘digital ledger.
The whole idea behind a blockchain is to create a place wherein digital information can be stored but never distributed. In a blockchain, only the user gains full control of the platform and this is a strong security feature that removes any other party, unlike other platforms. A blockchain stores its information in blocks which is a unique storage technique and this is one of the digital marketing trends to look out for in 2021.
22. Quantum Computing
Computing on a computer has limitations especially when the size of the file seems too large or the data is enormous. For this reason, quantum computing came as a solution to this problem by Wikipedia spells Quantum computing as the use of quantum phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computation. Computers that perform quantum computations are known as quantum computers.
You would want to know how this is important to you as a marketer and a digital marketing trend you should focus on. Well, quantum computing in collaboration with AI will help the comprehension of data faster. In essence, your computer gets to analyze information simultaneously instead of one after the other. And this means you get results from your analysis faster to create immediate solutions in a crowded market.
23. The 5G Technology
When the first announcement of the 5G technology was made, it sounded like a relief to a lot of people. The promises were so alluring and it offered a ray of hope to certain areas that still remain unhappy with the 4G network. However, this news wasn’t accepted gladly in all parts of the world.
Qualcomm posts 5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra-low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connect new industries.
With the plan of 5G to build a connected economy affecting mobile communications and the Internet of things, there will be so much reliance on this network with a transfer speed of 20Gbps. 5G is one digital marketing trend you shouldn’t ignore in 2021 as a marketer.
24. Privacy Marketing
Everyone wants to believe that their data is safe with whosoever they decide to share it with. A report from CSO Online communicated Adobe originally reported that hackers had stolen nearly 3 million encrypted customer credit card records, plus login data for an undetermined number of user accounts.
The company faced tons of lawsuits and paid damages in excess of millions of dollars. Due to this leak, they strengthened and eliminated channels that marketers used to get data from them. Hence, this led to other companies tightening their data outflow, hence pushing marketers to other options.
This policy means that marketers will either go through the difficulty of getting this data by earning it or they find other means. Additionally, most companies adopted this pattern because some of their customers laid complaints about the insecurity they have regarding their data. In 2021, privacy marketing is one of the digital marketing trends that marketers must address.
25. Website Security
When you don’t secure anything properly, you stand the chance of losing it. And I’m sure a website that you’ve invested money, time, and energy to build isn’t something you want to lose just like that.
Sucuri states that a secure website has a web application firewall activated to prevent attacks and hacks. It also follows website security best practices and has no configuration issues or known vulnerabilities. SiteCheck will help you know if your website has a firewall, any security anomalies, malware, or if it is blacklisted.
26. IoT Advertising
When you consider the network of physical objects and how they exchange data among themselves, then the concept of IoT (Internet of things) wouldn’t come as a piece of strange information to you.
With technological advancements moving in to influence our way of life, we must ensure that the Internet of things gets the right advertising. Because the development of more IoT devices will open marketing spaces for business professionals and marketers.
27. Stocked Content
Short-form content can be interesting, easy to read, and direct. However, one of the digital marketing trends in 2021 suggests that short content will not help you on the search engine and even in getting quality backlinks.
Research shows that content with about 2,000 words and above will rank better than content with fewer words. Additionally, contents with this number of words get stronger quality backlinks when compared to small content.
If you want to do something right in 2021 when it comes to digital marketing, that would write long-form quality content with helpful information that can take your users from where they are to where you want them to be.
28. Semantic Keyword Research
Keyword research is vital for content marketing. You wouldn’t want to waste time and money writing content that won’t be relevant on the web or no reader is interested in. In executing keyword research, the right tools are really all you need on this journey. Maybe a little understanding of numbers to help you pick out the type of content that fits.
Great content can rank for over one keyword. Of course, it’s something I have practiced for a long time and I can say it works. Semantic keyword research is one of the digital marketing trends that will help you do this for your content. And you know great content is a good funnel for you when it comes to your products and services.
A good number of keyword research tools are available, however, for my personal experience in keyword research, I would suggest Ahrefs, Moz, Ubersuggest, and SemRush. These tools have helped me rank for major keywords without any form of advertising whatsoever. What’s better than this? Just a few things I would say.
29. Structured Data SEO
Every website has a problem it wants to solve. And you need to communicate this to the search engine so they can rank you properly in your niche. When you cannot use structured data on your SEO, you risk being abandoned by the search engine and that isn’t beneficial.
According to Yoast, structured data is a way of describing your site to make it easier for search engines to understand. And to describe your site to search engines, you’ll need a vocabulary that presents content in a way that search engines can understand. This is one of the digital marketing trends that will heavily affect businesses that want visibility on the internet.
In 2021, search engines will penalize websites without good structured data SEO and you won’t want to be in the fray. So, you should simply hire a digital marketing agency and ensure this important part of SEO is addressed. This way, rest assured that your website will be relevant and treated importantly.
30. Alternative Search Engines
Google has been the dominant force taking up more searches on the web compared to other platforms. RapidAPI lists Google as the top search engine, powering over 60% of searches while the other search engines fight for a piece of the 40%. Well, we can attribute Google’s success to its longevity in the market.
But with Google always making algorithm changes and updates, a lot of bloggers have become dissatisfied with their service. For this reason, they have sought to use other search engine platforms that can offer them significant results. And this has led to the development of alternative search engines.
Bing a huge platform developed by Microsoft has garnered great recognition recently. According to eWeek, Google’s Marissa Mayer tells Digg co-founder Kevin Rose that Microsoft’s Bing search is a formidable rival to Google’s search engine, especially given that Microsoft just inked a blockbuster deal to power Yahoo’s search for the next decade. Mayer also says Bing appears to duplicate some Google features.
In a world where anything can trend, focusing on the right digital marketing trends that will push your business forward is difficult but possible. Instead of sticking to any trend and trying to create something from it, you can keep abreast with some of these trends by vising platforms such as Single Grain, Neil Patel, Web FX, and Socialander.
So, what trend would you hop on immediately? Tell us in the comments sections.