As technology moves faster and consumer interests and behaviors get harder to predict, it is no longer possible for marketers to stay averse to change and hope the same old methods will bring new results. As we step into 2021, here are some of the top trends that are leading the Digital Marketing landscape to help marketing agencies and businesses not just survive, but thrive.
Programmatic advertising involves the use of AI to automate ad bidding and buying so you can target more specific audiences with greater efficiency, speed, precision, and performance. While most search campaigns take into account three or four targets: the keyword, time of day, and location, programmatic advertising platforms make use of hundreds of targeting signals to personalize advertisements and even target according to lifestyle or behavior habits as defined by data.
Chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence enable users to chat instantly in real-time, day or night, with sales and support or other stakeholders. As a result, more and more customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are available 24/7, give prompt answers, recall the entire buying history accurately, and always remain patient. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service by meeting customer expectations and automating repetitive tasks – helping you focus on more important work.
Modern marketing is increasingly becoming conversational as it facilitates one-to-one, real-time connection between marketers and customers, and is available across multiple channels, allowing brands to meet customers where they are: on any device, platform, or time. As buyers expect instant response and delivery, it will be more important than ever for businesses to engage in conversational marketing to enhance user experience and foster higher engagement and brand loyalty.
Video marketing is here to stay, not just for now but likely for the next 5-10 years. Video is by far the most popular way for customers to learn about new products. Gone are the days of long sales forms and never-ending emails as it becomes increasingly difficult to read on small mobile screens. One of the best things about video marketing is that it makes it easy to present and reformat your content. As a result, a growing number of digital marketing agencies and organizations are making use of Live video, 1:1 video, Video SEO, and 360-degree video content for interviews, product demos, behind-the-scenes, personalized video messages, and delivering a more seamless interactive experience.
Influencer marketing focuses on using key leaders to amplify your brand message to a larger market. They can be well-known celebrities, or YouTube and Instagram personalities with a huge niche following who can help promote your business or product through their social channels. And with the power of AI to identify those with better engagement, fewer fake followers, and a higher chance of generating a positive return on investment (ROI), finding the right influencers is easier and faster than ever before – for brands and digital marketing agencies alike.
The increasing popularity of social messaging apps, and with people spending more time messaging each other, it is imperative for brands to be where potential customers are. Social messaging apps can be very useful in sending messages to customers directly, as they allow personalization and add value to the user experience. In addition, people expect businesses to have a presence on messaging apps because it’s a direct and easy way to interact.
Visual search enables people to upload an image to conduct a search and get more specific results, taking the user experience to a totally new level. Instead of typing queries into a search engine, you can directly search via images to find similar images, price comparisons, local shopping results, etc. Brands and digital marketing agencies can get the edge by leveraging the visual search trend in 2021 to draw customers and serve them the perfect solution.
As Google puts it, marketers have to be there, be useful, be quick, at an intent-rich moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need – to know, go, do or buy. This is because people generally make instant decisions within these four Micro-Moments. The growing popularity of micro-moments is making marketers and digital marketing agencies rethink the traditional linear marketing path that follows: awareness, consideration and decision.
Voice search provides all the relevant information that people are searching for through audio content. And with the advent of voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google, adopting a voice search strategy isn't no longer about remaining relevant but also about creating a unique and optimized customer experience that will foster relationships and build brand loyalty. Many brands and digital marketing agencies are already including voice search in their digital marketing strategies to deliver value-based content effectively to their customers. The fact is that voice search is not another channel to force messaging and sales but a unique medium to advance consumer interaction and develop a more connected brand experience.
Over the years, content marketing has become so important that 88% of B2B content marketers agree that creating content makes their audience view their organization as a credible and trusted resource and even helps rake in conversion rates 6x higher than other methods. Even amid all the innovation, content marketing remains a reliable, powerful way to attract new customers to your site and build relationships with them in real, quantifiable ways to deliver long-term value for your business.
Be it a digital marketing agency or leading brand, these are some of the most important digital marketing trends you can't ignore in 2021. It is imperative that we keep looking ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools, and strategies to be a pioneer and gain the digital marketing edge.