Digital marketing has several moving parts, and with every new phase, trends continue to evolve at an astonishing pace. It’s no longer a mere element of marketing. Marketers now employ automation to save time, increase engagement, and become more creative in every aspect possible.
Everyone is looking for ways to learn more and find a gaining edge by understanding digital marketing patterns and strategies over the years. However, 2020 was an unpredictable year. The global pandemic reshaped several elements of the marketing landscape and led marketers towards a new shift.
With the lockdown as a contributing factor, people spent more time on social media and adapted to video conferencing. Since brands had to devise new methods to connect and meet their customers’ needs, eCommerce sales began to have the upper hand.
Now, even with 2020’s chaos behind us, marketers are still scrambling to keep up. The resultant effects of last year’s global pandemic on the global economy have brought about several peculiar changes in digital marketing trends this year.
We know what worked in 2018 and could almost predict 2019, but the events of 2020 raise the curiosities of what to focus on in 2021. No one can say with 100% certainty how the future of marketing will be. We can only focus on research, statistics, and trend in data to identify the opportunities and predict the possibilities that might be available in the coming years.
Here are some valuable insights and key trends you should consider:
1. Increase Live Streaming
One of the results of the lockdown in 2020 was a lot of canceled events. Most people couldn’t socialize and attend in-person events with their family and friends as usual. The only option was to live-stream videos of online workshops or from their favorite celebrities.
During the lockdown period, Facebook recorded a 50% surge in live viewings. On Instagram, the spike was 70%. The number of times people spent watching live videos is three times the number of times they watched pre-recorded videos. Also, TikTok users went off the roof.
There’s a strong possibility 2021 may continue on these paths, and the live video industry is expected to continue to have increasing value. An excellent move is to apply this trend to your brand and use live video as a way to reach your consumers and tell them about your new products.
Compared to the pre-recorded videos, live videos have a way to grab your audience’s attention and make the video more engaging. They feel the fear of missing out like they are a part of it. Instead of just watching passively, your live videos become some exciting news they want to watch.
Influencers are trusted in specific fields and often have a large, active, loyal audience following them online. These people don’t necessarily have to be celebrities, but they have gained a reputation in their field and become go-to persons or consultants that provide answers to people’s needs.
Employing influencer marketing and using human-driven content creates trust between their audience and your brand. For instance, a basketballer wearing your sneaker in the pictures they post or in their live streams creates an “in-the-moment” connection that makes the viewers crave your product, such that they want to make purchases while they watch.
The influencer you engage needs to have thoughts and values relevant to our brand and your goal. Watch how they interact with their followers, and go for those with growing audiences on new platforms.
3. Goodwill services from brands
No consumer likes to deal with brands they consider ‘shady.’ Once they sense some insincerity or realize that there’s something to can’t fully trust, they back out of such deals. The need for transparency cannot be overemphasized.
Several people and businesses around the world are still trying to survive the turbulences of 2020. While brands search for means to continue flourishing, it’s important to get involved in some good contributions to recovering from the pandemic.
Even more than last year, there will be a more significant emphasis on campaigns that focus on ‘existence to serve’ rather than profit. To keep your brand as one of the trusted sources in 2021, you need to find creative ways to fit into customers’ lives and understand how to get involved in their conversations on social media.
When customers can pick from two comparable products, they would have to decide on the one they want to spend their money on. Goodwill services from your brand can open a platform where you can engage them, understand how to personalize your marketing to meet their needs, and win their hearts.
4. Enhance customer experience
Even before now, customer service has always been a priority year after year. Now in these unpredictable times and shifts in market trends, convincing people to patronize you may no longer be enough. However, maintaining a positive business culture and offering excellent services will keep people coming back for more.
Regardless of how impatient the customers seem, they still expect a seamless and memorable experience from the point of interest to after the sales. They want proof and reassurance before they buy.
From personalized messaging and throughout the customer journey until delivery, coordinate your sales, customer services, and digital marketing team to deliver quality through the process. Every aspect of your marketing strategy depends on you providing a great customer experience.
Due to the growth of online content, consumers are no longer passive parties. They don’t need you to tell them about your products since they hold the power to learn about the products directly.
While doing their research, the consumers want to see more than the product information. Since their buying decision relies strongly on what others say about their experience, several factors improve customer experiences. Some include offering efficiency, friendly and knowledgeable service, and convenience. Other factors to enhance your overall customer experience include up-to-date technology, easy mobile experience, personalization, brand image, and design.
5. User-Generated Content and Easy-to-consume content
Content has always been vital, but in 2020 the demand for more easy-to-consume content increased. People started to rely on easy-to-consume content like podcasts to get on the go or subscribe to newsletters directly into their inboxes.
Advertising your product or services via convenient and readily available content creates a ground for continued success in 2021. Newsletters or podcasts provide a more intimate way for customers to stay in touch and have a deeper connection with your brand.
User-generated content is another powerful tool for user experience and SEO on your website. It doesn’t have to be complicated or intensive. The UGC can be a simple comment on a blog article, a review of a product on your e-commerce site, or a Q&A section for people to ask questions and get answers.
Excelling in 2021 requires more social proof that the UGC can provide. When it comes to connective content, the user-generated content offers some benefits, including:
- Building and strengthening communication
- Generating tons of additional content and source of more discussions
- Creating ground for face-to-face meetings between customers and brands.
- Source of relatable and uplifting content
Asides from being an effective social tool to forging relationships with your consumers, these are some ways the UGC improves your content:
- Google favors updated content. Every comment, review, or question added to your content at any time is regarded as an update to Google.
- Longer content improves search engine rankings. The UGC creates room for more content to the already present one and boots the SEO.
- With content like product description, it’s pretty difficult for your content to stand out from the others and avoid hurting your SEO. The comments and reviews enhance the uniqueness of your content and increase your search engine ranking.
The point is to ensure you implement any user-generated content to your advantage. You can also adjust your site settings to limit or filter out certain words, spam, or link posting. It can also be done manually, but moderating the massive amount of reviews and comments can be challenging.
6. Increase in voice and visual search
Most people are moving towards voice-activated tools. Spending so much time at home resulted in people having more conversations with digital assistants like Alexa, Siri, or Cortana even than their family members. Perhaps the popularity of voice search in homes and on our phones presents opportunities for changing how we use keywords.
Considering that we phrase our speech differently when using Alexa for information from typing a search into Google, we need to review our keywords when writing content. The keywords need to be based on questions people may ask when using Alexa or Siri to increase our visibility.
As the prevalence of voice search shows no sign of slowing down, our expectations for 2021 digital marketing trends is that more households will fully adapt to using voice search. However, visual search is also another method brands can employ to rise and maintain the top position.
Tools like Google Lens and Pinterest Lens enable search engine users to upload images and get information about the objects in the picture. This way, when consumers don’t need to type a complete description of the product they want. They can turn their cameras in a search bar, and the search engine presents them with similar products and links to where they can buy.
Marketers now need to prioritize visual search by introducing more high-quality images with descriptive keywords to their online inventory. Gradually, visuals are already becoming an important factor in the SEO game. By including image alt-text, descriptive filenames for images, and sitemaps for pictures and advertising on platforms like Pinterest, brands can benefit from boosted search results.
7.Emphasis on inclusivity and sustainability
It’s not surprising that most consumers believe that companies should prioritize improving the environment and participating in public movements. Even as everyone is trying to put the coronavirus’s worries behind us, some brands are already making shifts towards a more sustainable future and getting involved in some endemic issues.
It could be the packaging, the materials they use for their product, issues that are lingering within the various elements of society. Still, consumers are constantly looking out for brands that are conscious of the environment.
Although hunting for a greener planet has been the target for several people, the recent pandemic has contributed to reminding more people of the world’s fragility. One of the main focuses in 2020 includes the Black Lives Matter Movement that highlighted some prevalent issues in several social elements.
Studies show that driving your brand to follow cultural shifts influences purchase behaviors, and many shoppers are shifting away from retailers that don’t offer enough diversity. With consumers making these moves, brands that don’t reflect their views on diversity and identity or appear non-inclusive may see some impacts in 2021. On the other hand, brands who are not holding back and getting involved in inclusive cases will reap some benefits and have deeper connections with their audience.
If you intend to keep being the choice to the masses, your brand needs to make a purpose-driven contribution towards sustainability and inclusivity in 2021.
What to Focus on in 2021
Digital marketing consistently changes, and that’s normal! While digital marketing trends come and go, some basics can be developed into tactics and ideas for a massive game-changer for the foreseeable future.
However, the effects of 2020’s event have resulted in difficulties in predicting the marketing trends. People are spending more time online for entertainment, work, and other reasons. Over the next few months, we are likely to see this continue. Brands now have to reconsider their digital marketing strategies and create better ways to connect with their customers.
Understanding the digital marketing trends helps determine the right marketing strategies to focus on and get the most bang for your bucks. If you are ready to set up your site for more traffic and leads, get started with SEO vendor today. Set up a quick consultation and get all sorts of strategy testing for ON-PAGE and OFF-PAGE SEO.