21 Digital Marketing Trends for 2021: A Digital Marketing Guide

Bright Brain Tech

Having a robust digital presence is now more important than ever, as content consumption and shopping move online at a rapid pace.

So to make your business not just survive but thrive in this age of innovation, here’s a list of 21 digital marketing trends that will pave the way for 2021 to be a year full of futuristic opportunities.

1. Shoppable posts

There is no denying that as social media usage rises, social media and e-commerce go hand in hand. It’s no surprise as to why brands are using the two together and trying to increase their sales opportunities.
In order to maximize opportunities for sales, brands have been using shoppable content for their business to reach prospective new customers.

Visual platforms such as Instagram (and now many others too) offer an opportunity to showcase your products to your followers or a specific target audience with the help of shoppable posts in order to elevate a user’s shopping experience. There’s no more wasting time by visiting the website, looking for the specific product and then heading to check out. Came across something you like and wish to buy? Click on the price tag of the product on the post, proceed with your preferred payment method and voila!

2. Subscription-based everything

Subscription-based or long-term paying customers are a living dream of all types of business owners. Why, you ask? Firstly, because it ties the customer to your service, in return enhancing the relationship and secondly, it helps in predicting the business’s financial performance. What remains a constant is the inflow of money and a loyal customer base.

3. Artificial Intelligence

What we witnessed in recent times and will continue to do even in 2021 is Artificial Intelligence taking a front seat and being the driving force of many services across various areas like E-commerce, Content Creation, Product recommendations, etc.
AI aids digital marketing on many grounds with cutting staffing costs, using data from social media platforms to help business owners understand their customer’s needs and wants and moreover easing the process of understanding consumer behaviour which leads us to our next point –

4. Programmatic advertising

AI and Programmatic advertising go hand in hand. To put it in a better way, rather 2021 will be the year a lot of people unravel the dominance of AI.

Programmatic ads refer to using AI to automate the process of ad buying so one can specifically target a more desired audience group. This conversion has proven to be much more effective, resulting in higher conversion rates and lower acquisition costs.

5. Chatbots

Chatbots again are a wonderfully curated result of AI. This technology enables instant messaging to chat in real-time with all your customers and site visitors at any point of the day, without leaving anyone unanswered.

6. Conversational marketing

One thing that modern marketing demands the most is conversational content, something most of the business owners have realised and adapted to in recent times. When consumers have a question about a particular product, they often want the answer immediately. Conversational marketing, therefore, can be put across as a one-on-one, real-time connection between marketers and customers.

7. Influencer marketing

In a study, it was shown that 60% of consumers trust an influencer’s opinion much more than what the brand has to talk about itself. Influencer marketing, therefore, plays a very important role in spreading a word about your business and gaining good traction.

This word-of-mouth kind of marketing focuses on key-leaders or well-known personalities trying to amplify your brand’s message to a larger audience. Influencers can be Instagram celebrities or Youtube personalities that partner with a specific business to make the mob aware of its perks.

8. Personalised Marketing

Personalised marketing also known as one-to-one marketing is the implementation of a strategy by which companies deliver individualized content. The goal of this kind of marketing is to engage its customers or prospective customers by communicating with each as an individual. It immerses the viewers with content that is personalised for on the basis of their data like name, age and preferences based on gender, choice, geographical location, etc. This aids in delivery of personalised content, emails, products and more, making it contextual as per their likes and dislikes.

As per a source, Kevin George from EmailMonks asserts that “personalized, triggered emails based on behavior are 3x better than batch-and-blast emails.”

9. Smart speakers & voice search

In the advent of AI taking over the digital world at such a rapid scale, audio assistants like Siri and Alexa have prominently come into the picture and minor errors made by them previously have also seen to be significantly reduced. This being a reason, people have switched to audio search as it can be used on-the-go and simplifies the process of retracting the information you’re looking for easier.

10. Predictive & augmented analytics

The practice of data mining, machine learning and predictive modelling in order to identify patterns and predict consumer’s future needs together refers to predictive analytics. In the digital marketing world, we see businesses using this to enhance lead scoring and improve customer engagement. Both predictive and augmented analytics strive towards providing the best user experience by automating data preparation and displaying similar results to a customer’s previous search history.

11. Structured data SEO

To explain structured data, it is any data that is organised in such a manner that our search engines find it easier to crawl and categorise. It is the right usage of meta tags and keywords that push your business above the rest when looked up for on any search engine.

Another possible boon of using structured data is that you can generate Rich Snippet results, which display images, review stats, and pricing. These rich snippets – also known as rich cards – are excellent for driving clicks, especially on mobile.

With almost 50% of all global Internet traffic now happening on mobile devices, the competition for these rich results is heating up, so we’ll see a lot of marketers focusing on leveraging structured data in 2021.

12. Privacy Marketing

With so much going on and about the importance of data, privacy has become a top priority not just for the consumers but also the marketers. Before laying out all their information, people these days want to know that their data is in safe hands. This required brands gaining trust from their consumers. Therefore, digital marketing teams should strategically plan ways to reinforce their commitments to privacy in order to gain trust of their potential customers.

13. Website security

In the same lines as Privacy Marketing, Website Security needs to be taken care off with utmost importance too. When a viewer lands to your website, your focus should be that of making them feel secure enough to stay long on it. If he/she does not feel safe, they won’t hang around for long which in return can lead to an increase in the bounce rates. Not to mention, a high bounce rate is a big no-no for any business. Another thing that customers usually encounter are pop-ups in their browser when they visit a website without a valid SSL certificate. Thus, having this in place is a basic hygiene as to not lose any customers.

14. Video Marketing

If not the most, we all can collectively agree that Video Marketing has lately become one of the most important digital trends in today’s time and will continue to grow for at least the next decade. It is observed that a large number of audience consumes visual content a lot more than content that requires a long read since it’s a lot more quicker and easier to consume.

Visual content, therefore, is said to bring higher conversion rates and make customers confident about a brand. A recent study reflected the importance of incorporating visual content with the help of the following data:

-70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video

-72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate

-52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions

-65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video

15. Digital/social selling

To put it in simple words, Digital Selling refers to deriving a strategic content plan by monitoring the type of content that is being consumed and generating brand awareness in such a manner that your consumers seem to trust in you.
Digital selling is about using the right social media platforms along with other digital tools and processes to sell and drive revenue. For instance, if you’re a wedding photographer, you may find that an Instagram feed is more beneficial for building brand awareness than Twitter would be. The content you share on social media should be actionable, valuable, and relevant to the needs of your target audience.

16. Podcasting

Podcasting is a great tool to add to your digital marketing strategies as podcasts come along various search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. When uploading a podcast on your choice of channel, it usually so happens that your episode directs the consumer back to your website which in turn helps at improving your website’s traffic.

17. Interactive quizzes & assessments

Believe it or not, but interactive content has been one of the fastest growing verticals of digital marketing. 2021 is likely to see the major shift from text-based content to a more interactive way of communication with the help of embedded calculators, quizzes and polls, and also the 360-degree videos that gives the user a much more immersive experience.

18. Ad optimization testing

Testing and analysis together form a firm foundation in modern marketing. With A/B split testing, there are techniques that help you isolate the variables in your campaign and identify the ones that are driving desirable results.

19. Thumbstoppers or short-form videos

Launched by Facebook back in 2019, the trend of thumbstoppers took over digital spaces and hasn’t seemed to turn down ever since. Thumbstoppers are short, 10-second long videos that are built around strong emotional messaging to narrate a brand’s presence and develop a relationship with its customers. Since it strums the emotional chord while not consuming a lot of time, these storytelling forms of videos seem to gather a lot of attention on the internet.

20. Verified google listing

Having your business listed on google is among the many essential mandates that every business owner should keep in mind while starting their independent project. By listing out your business in Google’s My Business Listing, you increase the chances of your business showing up among many others when someone looks for a relevant keyword. This also helps you in laying out essential information about your business like the exact location, contact number, working hours, etc online for a smooth customer experience.

21. Social Media Stories

Last but not the least, social media stories was a concept introduced by snapchat, followed by Instagram and Facebook coming forth with the same; and now even platforms like Youtube and Twitter have been taken on board!

Since these stories disappear after a short period of time, it generates the opportunity for marketers to amazingly use the concept of ‘FOMO’ for its audience.

In order to gain an edge over your competitors, it is very important for business owners to adapt to the changing trends of digital marketing. One must keep looking around and embrace strategies, tools and new technologies that have shown relevant growth and traffic.

To sum it up, these trends are a great place to start with when planning your business/brand’s 2021 marketing strategies.