The latest digital marketing trends in 2021
If you are the owner of a company or organization and are keen on your online presence, you should be keen to search for new digital marketing trends at some point!
Keeping abreast of the latest digital marketing trends in the industry is a necessity to maintain your presence on electronic platforms, and to reach your audience constantly.
With the pace of change increasing every year, we have to continually invest time and energy to improve skills, and learn the latest digital marketing trends.
Having a good knowledge of how algorithms work, changes or new features will give you the advantage of moving first. It creates the most effective marketing campaigns for you and your company.
Digital marketing enthusiasts everywhere are looking for the latest trends.
The use of artificial intelligence in digital marketing
The world was all about how the wave of artificial intelligence will dominate every aspect of life in the future. We don’t realize that change has already begun. 60% of internet users have already interacted with an AI chatbot to solve queries across multiple apps and websites.
Most of the content we consume on our social media platforms is tuned by artificial intelligence systems so that we interact while we stay longer! This technology is so amazing that investments in artificial memory are expected to reach $190 billion by 2025 and digital marketers have an amazing opportunity to exploit this high-tech tool.
Artificial intelligence is a complex algorithm that learns itself by looking at massive amounts of data about a particular field or topic and recognizing which patterns work best. The learning capabilities of AI provide programmers with the ability to make effective changes to outcomes by allowing AI to use techniques that are found to work best.
Artificial intelligence can serve many functions and act as an extension for every online marketer who knows how to employ it. It is cost-effective, accurate, and highly effective. After seeing so many giant companies adopting these tools, every team should have a plan to incorporate AI into their toolkit.
Short youtube clips
The latest addition by the popular YouTube platform is called “Shorts”. It is similar to Instagram Reels, where you can create short video content of 15 seconds or less. With the growing popularity of short video content today, YouTube Shorts is a very good opportunity for all those who have their existing target audience on that platform. All it takes now is 15-second videos to capture the attention of viewers.
By Wikipedia’s definition, augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment in which objects in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information.
It consists of 3 basic features:
A mixture of the real and virtual world
Accurate 3D recording of virtual and real objects
While virtual reality is causing a buzz and getting everyone excited about great sci-fi ideas, augmented reality makes more sense from a digital marketing point of view. Experts expect augmented reality to continue to outperform virtual reality in terms of market share.
Brands are gradually using this technology to improve the consumer experience and increase sales.
One example is IKEA, which has its own app that allows users to click a picture of their room on their smartphone to test running IKEA furniture in it. Users can move the furniture to see how the furniture looks different from different angles.
Another example is Gucci, the latest luxury brand that has recently added an augmented reality feature to its app to allow users to “try on” sneakers.
The user can choose to view 19 different sneakers on their own by pointing the smartphone camera down. Enable users to swipe left or right to change to another pair. The app also allows users to take pictures, which can then be shared on social media or in messaging apps.
With the augmented reality on the rise more than ever, we will see a huge proliferation of brands finding useful applications for technology in the future.
Improved voice search
According to research by Review42 on voice search, they found that 55% of teens use voice search daily. This massive adoption by the entire generation shows how widespread voice search will be in the future.
There are a couple of reasons why Voice Search, a feature we all had with our smartphones around 2014, took off in a big way this year. First, the growing adoption of smart speakers. 20% of households have purchased smart speakers such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. The adoption of fully-controlled devices in voice search is a huge indication of how people are starting to get used to this new behavior.
Second, Google claims to have achieved 95% accuracy through voice search. With the high search accuracy, the usability factor for voice search has jumped. Now with better precision to match what you’re asking for, and the ease of using your voice for results that make the process personal and engaging.
Third and most importantly, it is expected that by 2022, 50% of all online shopping will be done through voice results. This is a massive $40 billion opportunity that digital marketers can take advantage of. With so many growth factors pointing to the advent of voice search, getting your website ready for voice search will be very essential for the future.
Chatbots are one of the top digital marketing trends in 2021, as AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat with customers and site visitors. It is designed to communicate with customers by text or audio methods.
Businesses can benefit from using chatbots to interact with customers. Since there are a large number of users visiting a website at one time, it is useful to have a technology that answers hundreds of users simultaneously. The advantages of having chatbots are 24/7 customer service, instant responses to inquiries, and answers to simple questions.
63% of people prefer messaging over chatbots to connect with companies or brands. This virtual support provides excellent customer services, meaning the business gets rid of repetitive tasks and can focus on important work.
Starbucks has introduced a chatbot that works via the MyBarista app where you can order by audio message through Amazon Alexa or messaging.
Another great example of chatbot systems is the recently launched LaMDA project by Google. It will revolutionize future generations of chatbot systems.
Besides allowing customers to stay in the comfort of their homes until their coffee is ready, the chatbot sends messages to the customer when the order is ready to be picked up, and the chatbot also allows for payments.
E-mail and personal marketing
As the name suggests, email marketing automatically sends emails to your customers based on the triggers or schedules you set.
Emails have always been the most reliable channel for digital marketing. Promotional emails are a great way to reach your customers and let them know what your organization has achieved or any upcoming sales.
However, due to the excessive use of bulk email methods, most people have stopped responding to promotional emails. Personalized emails are a great way to get your customer’s attention again, and create a more engaged customer base.
According to Backlinko research:
You are 6 times more likely to get a click from an email than from a Tweet
Adding a call-to-action button in your emails instead of just a text link can lead to a 28% increase in CTR
78% of marketers have seen an increase in engagements (including click-through rate) in the last 12 months
Making your customer feel special is important to every business. Personal emails do just that, they give the customer the experience that a business is much more than an imaginary entity, it is a group of individuals just like them.
Some of the best examples of e-mail marketing are:
EasyJet: EasyJet launched an email campaign using customer data to essentially tell each customer their individual story. The email campaign used customers’ travel history with the airline to create personalized stories, which suggested and recommended where they might want to fly next. 12.5 million personal emails were sent, which had a 25% higher bandwidth compared to non-personal emails.
Video marketing is also one of the hottest digital marketing trends in 2021 and is likely to stay on top for many more years to come. Here are some stats that will show the importance of including a video in your list of current digital marketing trends.
According to Impactplus research:
- 72% of businesses report that videos have improved conversion rate
- 70% of consumers have shared brand videos
- 52% of consumers that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchasing decisions
- Video content is 50 times more likely to engage users than plain text.
One of the problems that marketers have faced in recent years has been displaying long texts on mobile screens, as it has become very difficult for users to read them. However, video can present the same information in a much better way regardless of the device.
According to Seotribunal, if your website includes a video, it is 50 times more likely to fetch free search results than plain text. Why does this happen? As people find video content more attractive, Google brings such sites at the top of the results.
But just producing one video clip after another isn’t enough. You need to make sure that you are aware of the ongoing video marketing trends, some of which are listed below:
Live broadcast on mobile
User-generated video content
Online training and educational videos
Digital Marketing by Instagram Reels
Instagram Reels has been great news for marketers and content creators. Especially since TikTok was banned in a few countries, it served as the best alternative.
The good news for digital marketers is that Reels offers more than double engagement rates compared to a regular video post.
And now with the newly launched Insights features on Instagram Reels, you can even track your performance and analyze your work!
According to Hootsuite, videos of NFL teams generate 67% more engagement than regular video posts.
As a marketer, you can use this feature to display many types of content such as media content, behind the scenes of the organization, product reviews, etc.
An excellent example is Louis Vuitton on Instagram reels, they are high quality, stunning, and very innovative. Every single reel of Lois Vuitton has gone viral with an average of 5 million views!
An effective video content and reels strategy is essential to capture and retain customer attention in 2021.
Shoppable content is any content – image, video, or article that includes a direct link to the acquisition portal.
This makes the process of customers perceiving the product through content marketing and making the decision to purchase the product on the e-commerce platform much simpler and straightforward.
The product on the e-commerce site has a very standard layout – description, details, images, and price. With the introduction of shoppable content, the way e-commerce works and markets its product will change. Instead of a gloomy and boring description of the product, each product can be marketed as a story in the form of interactive content.
Instagram introduced a shoppable content feature, where users can buy a product directly from a story or post. Even Pinterest has introduced this feature to its fans.
According to Oberlo stats:
The estimated number of global digital buyers in 2021 is 2.14 billion
In 2021, e-commerce sales are expected to account for 18.1 percent of retail sales worldwide.
The number one reason people shop online is free delivery.
Brands like H&M have upped their marketing game with their shoppable content, by turning their Instagram profile into shoppable posts.
They tag products in their Instagram posts so that users with a massive following of over 36 million followers can get inspired, discover new products, and make purchases using only Instagram.
Modern consumers value seamless user experience and engage in storytelling for their products. With shoppable content, your entire e-commerce experience will get a face-lift. Consumers now expect fast-loading images and reward companies that put in the effort to create engaging content.
People like to participate in activities, especially activities related to their favorite products or services. User-Generated Content or User-Generated Content harnesses this excitement in the customer and prompts them to create something of their own with the respective product and share it with the world.
User-generated content campaigns are run on creative offerings that customers make of a product or service, depending on the challenge or claim made by the company. This strategy is so effective that UGC posts have a 4 times higher click-through rate than regular promotions.
UGC is a great strategy for several reasons. First, it significantly reduces the time, effort, and resources required to run the campaign. UGC Campaigns brings together a range of high-quality promotional materials, all provided by the client at no cost to the organization. Second, UGC receives 28% higher engagement rates than a regular post, since the trust factor of a post that comes from an unpaid customer is much higher.
Despite these great benefits, it has been observed that only 16% of brands have any form of user-generated content strategy. Among the brands that have benefited from the power of this digital marketing trend, GoPro has been a mass favorite. By making prompts for their clients to create videos with GoPro equipment, they succeeded in creating a frenzy in people around the world to spread their action-packed lives with these cameras through their ‘Video of the Day campaign.
Digital marketing through influencers
Digital marketing through influencers is more than word of mouth marketing that focuses on using a leader or significant figure to amplify the brand in the marketplace. Influencers can be celebrities or YouTubers, or Instagramers with great followers who can help spread the word about the brand or work through social channels.
Here are some of the highlights of influencer marketing by Influencer marketing HubSpot:
The influencer marketing industry is set to grow to nearly $13.8 billion in 2021
More than 240 new agencies focused on influencer marketing and influencer platforms were created in 2019
The majority (59%) admitted to having an independent content marketing budget, and 75% now intend to allocate a budget for influencer marketing in 2021
90% of survey respondents believe that influencer marketing is an effective form of digital marketing
Adidas is one of the best examples of influencer marketing. It is one of the most popular brands that use influencer marketing to promote its products, and it has been introduced to influencers to increase its reach on Instagram and many social media platforms.
They wanted to focus on the younger population, and so they ran an Instagram influencer marketing campaign that worked wonders for them, as 70% of Instagram users are under 35 years old.
They teamed up with influencers like Selena Gomez and Iga Wysocka and introduced #MyNeoShoot, and were able to get 12,000 entries for the contest through this campaign. Moreover, their hashtag got a massive number of mentions and their Instagram followers increased by 41,000 due to this campaign. And speaking of sales, they managed to increase their sales by 24% and at the same time, Nike sales suffered a decrease of 9.1%
Digital Marketing by WhatsApp
WhatsApp Marketing is believed to be one of the biggest digital marketing trends to use in 2021. WhatsApp has completely changed the way businesses now reach and interact with their customers. You can now send personal messages on an app that is used by all age groups and is always checked multiple times a day. And you will not infiltrate the consumer because you will reach them through their WhatsApp Business account which helps them to trust you and the credibility of your business.
You can receive orders from consumers, inform them of their order status and even receive and make payments! Largely the reason why it is one of the best digital marketing trends that you should adopt.
Geofence website-based digital marketing
Geofencing is a location-based marketing service in which an application or other software uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular data to trigger targeted marketing activities such as a text, social media advertisement, email, or application notification. When a mobile device enters or exits a geographic boundary, it is known as a geofence.
According to the site increasingly,
Mobile ads with geo-fences have twice the click-through rate (CTR)
Geofencing is adaptable to 92% of smartphones.
90% of SMS are read within 3 minutes.
53% of shoppers visited a retailer after receiving a message related to the location.
Market Research Future has analyzed that geofencing can help increase customer interaction and is undoubtedly one of the beneficial digital marketing trends thus gaining popularity. The global geofence is expected to grow by approximately $2,387 million by 2023 at 27% of CARG between 2017 and 2023.
Great examples of geofencing include:
Starbucks: Starbucks uses geofencing to advertise its drinks to interested customers. They usually send notifications when users are walking by their business or in a nearby area. They also send out a special push notification letting customers in the vicinity about a great Starbucks offer, it’s a smart deal to get users to the door.
Sephora: Sephora uses the “Store Companion” geolocation feature which is triggered as soon as a customer enters the store. The application has excellent functionality, if the user visits one of the geographically defined regions, he will receive a notification about current promotions, discounts, etc.
For industries that need to convert digital users into loyal customers, geofencing will become even more important in their digital marketing strategy.
Search Engine Optimization (Hyper-local SEO)
Hyperlocal SEO is a very useful digital marketing trend for startups as well as small businesses. It has never been easier for small business owners to be able to use the power of digital marketing to attract customers.
Hyperlocal SEO is Google’s new algorithmic push that focuses on a person’s existing NAP (name, address, phone number) to give highly customized results for daily search queries like “Nearest ATM near me” or “Where to buy coffee?”
The most amazing thing about this local focus is that it provides businesses with the ability to create a strong regional market for themselves. Combined with voice search results, people who type very specific queries can easily find a way to reach you. This is a huge relief for traditional companies and small business owners in particular.
The update of the algorithm is huge but it is very easy for everyone to use and apply on their websites.
According to Search Engine Watch, the main tool needed to start implementing your Hyperlocal SEO strategy is getting a Google My Business account.
After you provide details like title, type of business and opening timing, your business should start arranging soon. This trend will be especially revolutionary for B2B digital marketing in 2021.
One classic example of Hyperlocal SEO is Burger King’s “Whopper Detour” campaign, which became insanely popular because it allowed users of the app to purchase the massive for just a penny as long as they were within 600m of a McDonald’s outlet.
This campaign went on to become one of the most classic examples of geolocation and hyper-local marketing, the Whopper Detour campaign resulted in 1.5 million app downloads while generating 3.3 billion impressions, equal to $37 million in earned media, and mobile sales tripled during the promotion. With over 500,000 Whoppers recovered.
Content Marketing and Update BERT
When it comes to creating content for websites, the term “keyword density” is very important for digital marketers. This has all changed with the Google BERT update, which enhanced its ability to read and understand website content. Google can now understand what a website’s content is and all the related topics it answers.
BERT is an artificial intelligence program from Google, however, it deserves a special mention because it changes how website content is written. By better understanding language usage, Google can understand the answers without necessarily having the main keywords present, and can understand the use of synonyms. It also understands the context of the sentence by reading it from the previous and following sentences.
Content writers can now focus solely on creating articles and pages that provide a great user experience, without having to simplify it to make it easier for Google.
Social media stories
In 2013, Snapchat introduced “Stories of Snaps with a lifespan of up to 24 hours that users can share with their friends. Later in 2016, Instagram created “My Stories,” which was the first platform to adopt Snapchat success stories. Facebook adopted Stories for its own platform in the year 2017.
Using small videos, content, and images really helps leverage the brand in real-time, and is a great way to increase engagement with audiences that prove your brand authenticity. Brands should consider having appropriate CTAs that will create a real connection with the audience.
Here are some of the benefits of social media stories:
- Take advantage of Snapchat geofilters
- Increase engagement
- Increase website traffic
- Constant engagement with followers
- Increase brand awareness
- Opportunities to reach the younger generation
- Add site tags
- Add tags to other brands and your audience
- Use polls in Instagram Stories
- Add links to social media stories
- Try the live video when creating stories
- Invite followers to explore more with clear CTAs
Stories aren’t the only parts worth making an impact in social media. There is much much more. We highly recommend going deeper
Digital marketing via Omnichannel
Omnichannel is a cross-platform marketing process to gain multiple touchpoints. It is definitely the most noteworthy digital marketing trend of 2021.
Multi-channel digital marketing strategies allow companies to use multiple ways to represent their brand or business in front of their target customer.
The following Omnichannel stats show that using multiple channels for your business generates great results for 2021:
More than 65% of consumers use different platforms before making a purchase.
Omnichannel strategies generate store visits up to 80% of normal.
An Omnichannel channel that includes SMS campaigns has a conversion rate of close to 50%.
Almost all of the 90% of customers prefer online customer services.
13% more per order on omnichannel for 1 channel
The demand for personalized products is more than ever, and the need to browse and buy products online has also increased.
This is another area in which AI and big data play a huge role by helping brands understand consumer behavior and personalize their products.
Singapore Airlines is an airline that sets a good example by providing a seamless experience to its customers and is known for creating an impactful customer-oriented Omni experience.
The airline has partnered with integrated AOE airports as well as shopping malls by combining offline and online experiences. Through this partnership, customers can easily shop, pre-book and improve onboard experiences.
Have you ever scrolled through a webpage and suddenly saw a popup on your screen offering something for free or at a discount? Popups were also a favorite of digital marketers but now you can customize them. You can run different popups on different pages depending on nature and based on consumer behavior.
Popups can be really effective and when you add deadlines or freebies to it, most of the time, the reader ends up taking action.
Digital marketing interactive content
Interactive content is content that the audience actively participates in rather than passively watching, reading or listening to.
When it comes to measuring effectiveness, interactive content has been proven to drive traffic to websites, educate users about the brand, and increase conversion. In this way, interactive content gives marketers the ability to better track interactions and determine success.
Listed below are the stats that support the same:
53% of all marketers reported using interactive content.
93% of marketers agreed that interactive content is effective in educating buyers
88% of marketers said that interactive content is effective in differentiating their brand from their competitors
The number of interactive posts increased by 33%.
One of the best examples for understanding how interactive content is used in different industries and across different use cases is the “Airbnb” brand.
Airbnb took the Buzzfeed-Esque approach and created its own “Design Personality Test”. The quiz allows users to choose a room and color palette and asks 8 quick questions to discover their design personality. The test also allows users to share their results with friends.
As Buzzsumo reports, a fun test like this has been shared more than 1,900 times, thus promoting the product, increasing social media visibility and Airbnb traffic.
Digital marketing using customized SMS
It may not sound plausible, but personalized SMS marketing is still in the game of top email marketing trends. Lots of conversions can be had when SMS is sent with personalization, deadline, or any other kind of urgency.
There is intense competition between brands and companies to rank higher in Google search results. However, in order to get indexed in the top results through SEO, it takes a lot of effort and time. An alternative to this ad is paid, making it easier for marketers to rank in the foreground, hence the trusted digital marketing trend of 2021.
When talking about Google Ads, one of its main features is Smart Bidding, companies and brands should consider Google Ads Smart Bidding, as it helps the company save time and improve its performance.
The benefits of Smart Bidding include:
- advanced machine learning
- Wide range of contextual cues
- Flexible performance controls
- Transparent performance reports
Simply put, advertisers can hand over their PPC campaigns to Google’s AI system, which will optimize their budget and maximize their ROI.
Google Ads Smart Bidding allows you to use many different signals to improve your bid, including:
- Remarketing List
- Advertising properties
- Interface language
- Operating System
- Actual location
- Site intent
- Days of the week and time of day
The point is that with smart bidding turned on, marketers will have time to focus on strategy, analytics, and copywriting.
The connection between two separate companies is called a B2B connection. 2021 has many technologies coming to change the way companies work and communicate with each other. Here are some of the trends that will change B2B marketing in 2021.
- BlockChain Communications
- Incorporating excessively large MarTech stacks
- Fewer cheap themed sites
- Focus on meaningful data, not vanity metrics