Change is the only constant. It pretty much applies to the Digital Marketing industry. You need to be aware of the Digital Marketing trends for 2021, to make sure you are ahead of your competitors with the right marketing strategies.
2019 was a busy year for Digital Marketers. There were new trends in Digital Marketing throughout the year that flooded the industry, and many agencies and Digital Marketing practitioners were not ready for them, so they had to lag way behind in the digital race.
We are in an era where consumers’ behaviors and interests are not predictable. Educated guesses do not work anymore. If you want to stay ahead in today’s digital landscape, the only way is, to be able to adapt to the ever-evolving marketing trends.
Here are the 25 Digital Marketing Trends for 2021 that you need to be aware of.
Make sure to adopt them into your business not to just survive, but to win the race.
#1. Artificial Intelligence
The basic intention of Artificial Intelligence is to create smart machines that can think and function like humans. AI has been helping the Digital Marketing industry immensely in recent times.
Many companies have been able to predict and understand consumer behavior, and as a result, they have been able to come up with better solutions and better consumer experience. Consumer satisfaction being the primary goal of any marketing strategy, businesses are going to use AI more in their Digital Marketing Strategies 2021.
Some of the benefits of AI include:
- Reaching the target audience faster and easier
- Helps in decision making
- Highly predicted ROI
- Better user experience
- Fewer error rates
- Easier tracking
- A better understanding of user persona
#2. Programmatic Ads
Programmatic ads use Artificial Intelligence to automate ads buying so that businesses can target audiences more specifically. Real-time bidding is one of the examples of programmatic ads. The primary reasons that make Digital Marketers choose programmatic ads are,
- Faster and more efficient
- Higher conversions
- Lower customer acquisition costs
Programmatic ads have been changing the face of digital marketing rapidly. Here is the step by step approach on how programmatic ads work,
Step 1: Someone clicks on a webpage
Step 2: The publisher puts up your ad impression for auction
Step 3: An auction will be held among the competing advertisers
Step 4: The advertiser who bids for the most will get the chance to display their ad
Step 5: The prospective customer will see the ad and click on it
Step 6: The advertiser converts them into sales and profits
Chatbots are prompt and responsive, and hence they are effective in personalizing the user experience. They are more like virtual assistants recorded with repetitive tasks to offer consumer service virtually.
Using chatbots is considered as a cost-effective and efficient way of communication. The best part is, you do not need to hire a dedicated team for customer service.
The recent surveys say that Chatbots are going to serve 85% of customers in 2021
Following are some of the benefits that chatbots offer,
- 24-hour service
- Predefined but prompt answers
- Accurate buying history
- Instant responses
#4. Video Marketing
After Google, YouTube is considered as the second largest search engine today, and of course, the reasons are obvious. Videos are easily shareable and generate more engagement.
Some of the benefits include:
- Promoting brands
- Expanding audience
- Larger audience reach
- Quick and personalized approach
You can also share your brand story to the world through video marketing. Video audience is getting bigger day by day with the increase in the number of smartphones.
#5. Personalized Email Marketing
Email marketing has been doing wonders for years, and it has yet again saved its place in the Digital Marketing Trends 2021. The main reason why Email Marketing has been successful is, it creates a personal connection with the individual.
It has been an effective marketing technique as you can keep in touch with your users regularly with your newsletters and emails increasing new opportunities from time to time. You can keep bringing them more into your business by updating them with your latest products that would be useful for them.
Here are some of the reasons that save Email Marketing a precious place in Digital Marketing,
- Easy to use
- One-on-one interaction
- Network expansion
- Effective and powerful
#6. Influencer Marketing
An influencer is someone whose words or actions have an impact on a group of people. They promote products or services of a brand that is trying to increase its user base. Influencers are considered to be trustworthy public figures, especially in their niche and usually have a huge loyal followers base.
One of the major reasons to choose influencer marketing is, it can help you capture the global audience. Here are the major reasons that make brands to keep Influencer Marketing in their top digital marketing essentials.
• Authenticity – Usually, influencer chooses products or services related to their niche. And they make an impact by sharing reviews based on their personal experiences that look more natural and real than commercial ads.
• Trust – Trust is the basic factor for an end-user to buy a product. When it comes to Influencer Marketing, the trust is already built between the influencer and his/her audience. So, it is easier for brands to sell services or products to that specific audience.
• Credibility – Influencers are inspirational figures in their niche. Their followers usually have a personal connection with the influencer. Hence, it is easier for influencers to generate relevant and relatable content that can boost engagement naturally.
• Backlinks – Generating quality backlinks and bringing more traffic to your website or social media is way easier through Influencer Marketing, compared to other methods.
This approach of Digital Marketing has been giving proven results around the world that most of the brands have already adopted their approach to it for boosting brand reputation. If you have not been in yet, 2021 is the right time.
#7. Voice Search
People already started using voice search on their laptops, smartphones, smart speakers, and other devices. Users can search for any topic without having to type. The main reason for users to opt for voice search is they can use it even when they are busy with their daily chores like driving, cooking, taking a shower, and so on.
Voice Search has been a great revolution lately and bringing in new opportunities for any businesses.
Some of the reasons that make Voice Search one of the top Digital Marketing trends are,
- Easy to use
- More relevant search results
- Personal connection with the user
- Interactive feeling
You can reach to your potential customers by optimizing marketing into voice search. Make sure that they would be able to find your business details easily through voice search so that it can further help you boost your brand awareness and future sales.
#8. Social Media Stories
Snapchat brought this concept of stories with the ‘My Story’ option a few years back. Later Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp adapted it. Later, YouTube too came up with a similar concept, ‘Reels.’
FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is the primary reason for people to look into your stories as they disappear after a period. So make sure you bring in your business into Social Media Stories this year.
People also look for exciting events, local businesses and specific hashtags in stories. Here are some of the benefits that Social Media Stories offer,
- Boost familiarity
- Digestible content
- Customer engagement
- Fear of Missing Out
- Exposes users to the company’s culture
- Encourage instant purchase
#9. Content Marketing
This is one of the inbound marketing techniques that has been used successfully for years. It is still considered to be effective in the Digital Marketing industry mainly because it attracts potential customers by providing them value with useful content.
Have a look at or reasons for brands to choose Content Marketing into their marketing strategies,
- Customer engagement
- Value addition
- More lead generation
- Organic reach
- Builds authority and credibility
- More powerful
As per the recent surveys, Content Marketing costs 62% less compared to other outbound Digital Marketing concepts and generates three times more leads.
#10. Interactive Content
As a Digital Marketer, you need to keep looking for the best possible ways to spice up your content and appeal to your target users. Consumers are more likely to respond to inbound marketing more. Hence, opting in for Interactive Content to reach your targets and increase sales should be one of your primary marketing goals in 2021.
Interactive content helps you acquire more visitors through their active participation. Here are some of the examples for Interactive Content,
- 360 Degree Videos
So, instead of creating a blog on Grammatical Mistakes, you can directly create a quiz that can test the grammar skills of your users and provide them with scores.
Interactive content grabs the user’s attention instantly. It works for any business mainly because it keeps the visitors engaged and entertained.
#11. Conversational Marketing
Consumers always look for quick turnaround and instant solutions. This is why Conversational Marketing is going to be in the Digital Marketing Trends 2021.
The main aim of Conversational Marketing is to use customer data and feedback to drive conversions, increase engagement, and grow loyalty. If you have the right information about your customers, it is way easier for your business to increase its operations.
It helps you build a conversation with your end-users further helping you to revamp some of the areas where it requires improvement.
Main benefits of Conversational Marketing include,
- Personalized approach
- Resolving your customers’ problems
- Friendly touch to your brand
- Better relationship with your customers
- More conversions
- Better lead generation
Some of the Conversational Marketing approaches include
- Live Support
- Contact Forms
- Customer Loyalty Programs
Personalization has been the latest form in the industry, and it is going to rule Digital Marketing in the coming future. Personalization is about personalized content, products, emails, and so on.
You need to keep analyzing your customers’ previous purchase history and find out the potential recommendation, from the list of your other products, that fits best with the contextual search.
Here are some of the benefits that Personalization offers,
- Converting a greater number of visitors into customers
- Offering more relevant products to your customers
- Customer satisfaction
Personalization is expected to be a game-changer for any business this year. So, make sure you include it into your Digital Marketing strategies as and when required.
#13. Social Media Marketing
The first thing any individual gets onto every day is Social Media. It has become a basic part of everyone’s daily life. So, if you want to reach your potential customer, you cannot ignore Social Media Marketing.
Consider it as an essential way for your branding. Some of the benefits of Social Media Marketing include,
• Brand Awareness – With billions of people using social media today, imagine the number of quality audiences you can reach and convert from here.
• Increased engagement – Your followers are your potential leads. You can keep them engaged with your content as long as you are clear about your customer persona.
• Increased traffic – Whatever Social Media platform you are in, it creates you an opportunity to lead traffic to your website. It further helps you create your SEO accordingly, and bring in more traffic through search engines, increasing your leads and conversion.
• Loyal customer base – Social Media is the right place to increase interaction with your end-user.
Additionally, you can also get a chance to demonstrate your customer support and better customer experience.
Vlogging, an acronym to Video Blogging, is going to help you drive more visibility and increase your engagement levels with your consumers. It has been building popularity among Digital Marketers and influencers. It is going to be one of the sought-after Digital Marketing 2021 Trends.
Users find video content more engaging and compelling. Hence, search engines push video content into top results.
Vlogging doesn’t need to be limited to YouTube; you can also benefit from it in different ways.
- Embed the videos into blogs
- Upload into your Facebook
- Transcribe and get a text format of a video
- Seize the audio from it and make a Podcast
By uploading a video on your website, you are likely to increase 100% more organic traffic compared to text content.
#15. Shoppable Posts
It has already been more than two years since Shoppable Posts were introduced on Social Media. However, it started finding engagement only from the past few months. So, 2021 is expected to witness a great explosion of Shoppable Posts, mainly because it is a unique integration with e-commerce and other third-party apps.
With the increase in Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook users, you are going to see a great improvement in impulsive buying through Shoppable Posts. The e-commerce industry will see the results with increased traffic and measurable numbers.
The main benefits offered by Shoppable Posts include,
- Less bounce rates
- No sales funnel burden
- Seamless online shopping experience
#16. User-Generated Content
UGC, User Generated Content, is one of the potential resources for marketers to analyze their customers’ behavior and reach out to a more relevant audience. It helps you encourage your customers to share unique pieces of content by offering them a reward like a discount, coupon codes, even a partnering chance for a good cause, and so on.
UGC has been showing great results by helping brands increase their engagement quicker and also in driving more conversion rates.
Some of the primary benefits of User-Generated Content include,
- People trust themselves more than companies
- It is more reliable than any other ad format
- Blog comments, reviews, and testimonials build trust among other potential buyers
Podcasts are one of the latest additions that have just started rocking the Digital Marketing field. Podcasting existing users share feedback that it feels more realistic and authentic. It is quick and accessible even when you are busy doing your daily chores, like working out at the gym, driving, and so on.
Here are some of the reasons you should start podcasting this year,
- Listeners do not have to deviate themselves from their chore activities
- Studies show that there has been a great increase in the number of people who prefer listening than watching.
- Users pay more attention to the product information in Podcasts
- More credibility and trust
- Hosts get a chance to endorse their product straight to the potential buyers.
So, invest in a good microphone, headphones, a smartphone, and a digital recorder to start your Podcast journey to increase your reach to your potential buyers in 2021.
#18. Tik Tok
As you already know, Tik Tok is all about short-form videos that allow the users with a lot of dialogue, music or direct video recording options. Though the main intention of Tik Tok is entertainment, lately people have been sharing a great engagement in serious discussions too such as Dating and Relationships, Personality Development, Home Making, Books and Training, and more.
Here are some of the stats that prove that the demand for Tik Tok is going to be more in 2021,
- It is a great hit in the past couple of years
- Most percentages of its users belong to the age group between 16 and 24 years
- 25% of its users are from India
- People have downloaded it for 80 million times in the USA
- 40% of its users are from outside China
Either you can start direct branding creatively on Tik Tok, or find micro-influencers from your niche on Tik Tok and hire them for your branding.
#19. Vernacular Branding
Days are gone where the Internet was limited to just urban areas of the world. Now, it has become a basic part of every household. Hence, many brands have already started their journey into Vernacular Branding to reach regionally.
Language-driven services seem to have created a great impact in 2019, that even big brands like Flipkart and Amazon too are planning to get soon into it to reach out to their regional buyers.
Some of the reasons why you should not ignore Vernacular Branding in your marketing schedule are, People love their language as much as they love their mother. That’s why they call it mother tongue. It builds trust as people get personally connected to the brand.
Here is a simple 3-step Vernacular Branding strategy that you can follow to establish your branding regionally,
Step 1: Define your audience first. Pay closer attention to their demographics, such as age and location. Conduct a survey on their daily habits and interests.
Step 2: Research phrases and words that are more relevant to the language you have chosen. Again different people have different choices of lingo. Take time and investigate it.
Step 3: Brainstorm vernacular inspired messages for your ads. Incorporate the words or phrases naturally into your vernacular ad copies.
#20. Live Streaming
As already discussed, video can play a great impact when it comes to branding. It is more relevant to live interactive videos. In fact, interactive video content is considered to be one of the most effective Digital Marketing trends this year.
Live streaming is already creating wonders on the web, especially on Social Media channels. Live video gets three times more engagement compared to other content formats.
A live video can, in fact, create more impact on impulsive buying. You get a chance to talk to your potential lead directly through live and help him get answers for all his queries. This is the right chance to motivate and convert him into a buyer.
Live sessions work more amazingly for influencers. Again, the trust factor works great. 2021 is going to be remarkable for live sessions around the web,
Some of the major reasons that make live sessions effective are,
- It’s free
- Shorter time
- Real-time engagement
- Quick solutions to the users
- Their queries are answered promptly
- Greater impression rate
- Broader reach
#21. Smart Bidding
Google has been moving quickly over the years. Google Campaigning has been giving a tough time to many. That’s why Google has been trying to make things easier for its users. Smart Bidding is one among them.
It is an automated bidding strategy introduced, which include Target ROAS, Target CPA, Enhanced CPC (ECPC), and Maximize Conversions.
According to Google, Smart Bidding helps you optimize your bid to improve conversions and conversion value.
By opting to Smart Bidding, you will find results that are
It works round-the-clock to make sure that campaigns serve bids uniquely to every user depending on his location, language, browser, device, and so on, and maximize the budget.
Experts predict that 2021 may overtake manual bidding altogether. So, you should get a solid grip on Smart Bidding as soon as possible.
#22. Micro Moment
A Micro Moment is an intent-rich moment when a person approaches a device with an intent to do, know, buy or go.
People usually make decisions instantly on where to go, what to buy, what to eat, and so on. This whole tactic is going to make an advantage for the marketers to show relevant ads at the right time and right place to reach the right audience.
You need to be quick, useful and right there to take the maximum advantage of Micro Moments in 2021.
Simple 3-step path to use Micro-Moments effectively is,
Awareness: Create awareness about your brand among your potential buyers.
Consideration: Offering them all the possible reasons and answers to their needs for them to consider your product or service.
Decision: Trigger them with a call to action to make a decision to purchase your product or service.
You need to be well aware of your potential “must-buy” moments to be ready with your micro-moment strategy.
#23. Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is going to make a lot of difference this year. It is another new trend in Digital Marketing.
Though people have been working on Virtual Reality since 2016, its real usage started only in the year 2019. Users are expected to increase in the AR to overlay their desired information, such as games, videos, text, images, and so on, to the real-world objects.
The user needs to have a smartphone, headset and virtual goggles to view the AR. In simple terms, AR creates a 3D version of a static 2D object.
Some of the benefits of Augment Reality include,
- Higher customer engagement
- Increased brand awareness
- New digital world experience
#24. Visual Search
Search engine and social media platforms are updating their algorithms to support visual search. Artificial Intelligence is going to play a vital role in image recognition techniques. As the integration process is getting easier and more relevant, Visual Search is going to increase rapidly in the coming months.
Make sure to have your research done to set your products and services ready for visual search this year. Pinterest and Google have come up with visual search tools called lenses to allow their users to purchase a product by using images that look similar.
Google lens help you recognize landmarks, objects and more using your camera app, which is currently available on Pixel Phones. Soon to be available on all the smartphones.
For this, you need to take a photo and search using it. Examples:
- Book: You will get reviews, price and other details
- Business Card: You will be able to save the phone number and other contact details
- Building or Landmark: You will find the location and other relevant information
#25. Long-Form Content
Long-Form content is not yet dead. Ignore it if someone claims so. How many ever images or other visuals you add to content, quantity is still essential. Content marketing is not limited to just its shares on social media, it is also about organic search.
If you can create quality long-term content, there is no better match to it. Long form has always been a key factor for content marketers.
Some of the benefits of long-form content include:
- Decreased Bounce Rate
- Longer time people spend on your pages
- Good number of social media shares and backlinks
- Higher Google rank
- Lifetime traffic to your website or blog
Some people spend more than six hours in creating a single piece of content. They believe it’s worth it. They want to offer all the possible information to the reader who came into their page. In fact, such content brings you more subscribers too.
So here is a list of 25 Digital Marketing 2021 trends that you can’t ignore. They are going to hit the industry solidly. You will soon realize how important it is for you to implement them in your strategies according to your marketing requirements.
You should prepare yourself ahead and work hard to embrace the latest technologies, strategies, and tool in order to find your edge over your rivals.
Which of these Digital Marketing trends 2021 you think will top the rest? And why?