Businesses today are faced with overwhelming, competing challenges and uncharted waters. May smaller businesses, especially SMEs, and some bigger ones too, continue to navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them are already taking “no regret” actions to emerge from the pandemic stronger. The moment’s crisis is handling this situation with a spirit of reinvention—accelerating digital transformation, establishing variable cost structures, and implementing agile operations.

And that’s why now more than ever, you need to leverage new digital marketing trends in 2021. We are now living in an age where technology marketing moves fast, and consumer interests and behaviours are hard to predict. You cannot stick your head in the sand and hope that educated guesses and the same old methods will work forever.

The impact of COVID-19 includes:

  • Basic changes in consumer behaviour, supply chains, etc.
  • There are and routes to market are knocking companies off balance.
  • A switchover to agile working methods and enable value chain transformation to help outmaneuver risks
  • Automating routine tasks with human+machine models

One has to implore new possible 2021 marketing trends and experiment with them! Let’s take an overview of the top 10 digital marketing trends you should adopt:

1. Work from home is here to stay

Working from home can minimize your overhead costs and helps increase profits. Take the example of AT&T with 32,000 employees who worked from home on September 20, 1994, via telecommuting.

These employers pioneered the non-traditional route of WFH almost three decades back. Today, AT&T continues to be a leading organization that provides alternative office options. They save $550 million of cash flow and almost 30% on revenues by eliminating offices that are not needed. Overhead costs went down too! Another company following this example is IBM. Their AW program called the Mobility Initiative helps them save $100 million annually in its North America sales and distribution unit alone.

Users spend far more time on Over-the-top (OTT) services (Hulu, Netflix), video game viewing services (Twitch), live video streaming, and podcasts. In the coming year, podcasts show great promise. They will remain a top 2021 marketing trend and common background medium to have both in the car and at work. The projected growth of $635 million in 2021 is expected. Podcast advertising will also emerge as a prime competitor in a post-COVID-19 workforce.

 

2. Social media will take center stage

Be prepared that social media will take the top slot instead of other channels. Social media will no longer be there for just discovery. They will keep making life easier for consumers to go from discovery to purchase. All of this can be done without ever having to leave the platform. Do so helps in creating a simple and seamless path to purchase.

Considering that social commerce will thrive and continue to grow into 2021, retail brands will have to adapt to these platforms with new rules, similar to what many did with Amazon. They will further continue to engage and retain. In 2020, social media accounted for 24% of total U.S. marketing budgets during the second quarter of 2020, up from 13% last winter. Marketers are increasingly making customer retention a priority, and this remains a digital marketing trend in 2021.

 

3. Google Listings and Local SEO

Anyone running or owning a small business should know that the most important things you can do are ensure your local listings are verified and kept current on various search platforms. For any business-to-commerce business, which draws customers primarily on a local level, the Google My Business listing provides valuable information about your hours.

In particular, with time restrictions continuing in many areas — services and geographical location are critical. Ensure you have a geographically-defined service area within your local listings. This is a critical 2021 marketing trend as this will help your business show up in “near me” searches. Most search engines prioritize relevance in their search algorithms.

 

4. Programmatic marketing & advertising

The term programmatic advertising implies using AI or artificial intelligence to automate ad buying. This way, you can target more specific audiences. Programmatic ad buying automation is much more efficient and fast.

It also results in higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs. According to eMarketer, 86.2% of digital display ads will be programmatic by 2020. It’s been noted that most search-driven manual advertising campaigns take into account three or four targets, which includes:

The above-mentioned digital marketing trends will impact many businesses. It can be either through the investment of new technologies, optimization of advertising efficacy, or utilization of new channels. But one must learn them vigorously and implement them in their required fields in order to make an informed decision.

  • Power 85% of customer service by 2020
  • Ensure 24-hour service, instant responses to inquiries
  • Help businesses save over $8 billion per annum

 

6. Using data science for personalization 

The saying that informed buyers want to buy from informed brands is so true. Consumers are no trying to co-curate their experiences with brands to reflect their preferences at any given moment.

They want brands to deliver beyond the age of personalization and enter a period of personal commerce; Brands are expected to understand what they’ve bought in the past and help them determine what they should buy next. This is again based on all the data that they’ve consciously shared with them by engaging with their sites and channels.

With brands and retailers continuing to collect first-party shopper data, they will need to begin acting on it in meaningful ways. They have to predict what their shoppers want to see next, and understanding where shoppers are in their buying cycles to expect when they’ll want to buy.

 

7. Using Augmented Reality 

AR or Augmented Reality will expand, especially with Facebook owning Oculus and dozens of augmented reality patents. Soon, digital growth experts have to learn and incorporate AR into a digital engagement.

Though it is a work in progress, now is the time to research, learn, and consider how AR could be used in current digital assets for 2021 marketing trends.

 

8. Video marketing

Video marketing is a trend that will stay for the next 5-10 years. As per research, almost 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video. An equal number of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate.

Additionally, almost 52% of consumers agree that viewing product videos make them more confident in online purchase decisions.

 

9. Influencer marketing 

The idea of influencer marketing comes from word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to amplify your brand message to a larger market. While there was a time when influencers were mostly well-known celebrities, today anyone with a considerable niche following can be an influencer.

Statistics reveal that almost 63% of consumers trust influencers’ opinions of products much more than what brands say about themselves. More than half of the e-commerce purchases agree they bought a new development in the past six months because of an influencer’s recommendation. Take the example of Iceland — a famous British supermarket chain. They switched from ads with celebrities to a campaign that features real-life moms and will continue the same in their 2021 marketing trends.

 

10. Increase Spending in OTT

Advertisers will be spending more on OTT. An important question that any advertiser should ask is “what are they watching?” And OTT is making waves. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming services like Vplayed, Muvi, Vimeo, etc. are quickly dominating households.

In Australia, the OTT video segment is projected to reach US$3,746m in 2021. The same report further suggests that penetration will be 74.5% in 2021 and is expected to hit 76.9% by 2025.

Additional reports suggest that OTT services have achieved an overall 51% market penetration, with local services such as 7 Plus, 9 Now, and 10 Play averaging over 23% uptake among Australians.

Conclusion 

The conventional has changed. It is attributed to the pandemic last year, but there is no denying that the world of marketing has changed forever. John F. Kennedy had once quoted — “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Anyone who is into digital marketing should remember that change is an integral part of the job.

One has to look ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools, and strategies to gain an edge over your competitors. If you want to beat the pandemic and revive your business in 2021, you have to embrace change and continuously evolve!

The above-mentioned digital marketing trends will impact many businesses. It can be either through the investment of new technologies, optimization of advertising efficacy, or utilization of new channels. But one must learn them vigorously and implement them in their required fields in order to make an informed decision.

  • Keyword
  • Time of day
  • Location

Like the programmatic demand-side platforms, many tools help you leverage hundreds of targeting signals to individualize the advertisement and even target according to lifestyle or behaviour habits.

 

5. Chatbots

Another digital marketing trend in 2021 that is here to stay is Chatbots. These are AI-based technology that enables instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors. Research shows they will:

  • Power 85% of customer service by 2020
  • Ensure 24-hour service, instant responses to inquiries
  • Help businesses save over $8 billion per annum

 

6. Using data science for personalization 

The saying that informed buyers want to buy from informed brands is so true. Consumers are no trying to co-curate their experiences with brands to reflect their preferences at any given moment.

They want brands to deliver beyond the age of personalization and enter a period of personal commerce; Brands are expected to understand what they’ve bought in the past and help them determine what they should buy next. This is again based on all the data that they’ve consciously shared with them by engaging with their sites and channels.

With brands and retailers continuing to collect first-party shopper data, they will need to begin acting on it in meaningful ways. They have to predict what their shoppers want to see next, and understanding where shoppers are in their buying cycles to expect when they’ll want to buy.

 

7. Using Augmented Reality 

AR or Augmented Reality will expand, especially with Facebook owning Oculus and dozens of augmented reality patents. Soon, digital growth experts have to learn and incorporate AR into a digital engagement.

Though it is a work in progress, now is the time to research, learn, and consider how AR could be used in current digital assets for 2021 marketing trends.

 

8. Video marketing

Video marketing is a trend that will stay for the next 5-10 years. As per research, almost 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video. An equal number of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate.

Additionally, almost 52% of consumers agree that viewing product videos make them more confident in online purchase decisions.

 

9. Influencer marketing 

The idea of influencer marketing comes from word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to amplify your brand message to a larger market. While there was a time when influencers were mostly well-known celebrities, today anyone with a considerable niche following can be an influencer.

Statistics reveal that almost 63% of consumers trust influencers’ opinions of products much more than what brands say about themselves. More than half of the e-commerce purchases agree they bought a new development in the past six months because of an influencer’s recommendation. Take the example of Iceland — a famous British supermarket chain. They switched from ads with celebrities to a campaign that features real-life moms and will continue the same in their 2021 marketing trends.

 

10. Increase Spending in OTT

Advertisers will be spending more on OTT. An important question that any advertiser should ask is “what are they watching?” And OTT is making waves. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming services like Vplayed, Muvi, Vimeo, etc. are quickly dominating households.

In Australia, the OTT video segment is projected to reach US$3,746m in 2021. The same report further suggests that penetration will be 74.5% in 2021 and is expected to hit 76.9% by 2025.

Additional reports suggest that OTT services have achieved an overall 51% market penetration, with local services such as 7 Plus, 9 Now, and 10 Play averaging over 23% uptake among Australians.

Conclusion 

The conventional has changed. It is attributed to the pandemic last year, but there is no denying that the world of marketing has changed forever. John F. Kennedy had once quoted — “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” Anyone who is into digital marketing should remember that change is an integral part of the job.

One has to look ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools, and strategies to gain an edge over your competitors. If you want to beat the pandemic and revive your business in 2021, you have to embrace change and continuously evolve!

The above-mentioned digital marketing trends will impact many businesses. It can be either through the investment of new technologies, optimization of advertising efficacy, or utilization of new channels. But one must learn them vigorously and implement them in their required fields in order to make an informed decision.

By No Comments August 12, 2021

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