In the past few years, modern or digital marketing efforts including SEO and social media marketing have taken over traditional methods such as billboards. Currently, combining business strategies with technology or digital resources has proven to be an undeniable game-changer. However, technology is subject to changes, which means that new marketing trends keep cropping up year after year. On the other hand, some become obsolete or even fade away to make way for new technologies and new customer behaviors.
With 2020 coming to a close, focus on integrating strategies that will keep you ahead of your competitors or in the game for years to come. Here are some of the digital marketing trends that ought not to be overlooked in 2021:
1. Experiences and Events
Nowadays, real-life gatherings or events where people can hang out together, network, and celebrate are quickly becoming the in thing in the digital marketing space. Since most millennials were raised up in a more virtual world, they tend to prefer real-life experiences and physical objects when they become adults. As such, brands trying to appeal to this generation are forced to take the real world route as opposed to just being virtual. Companies can be expected to increase their focus on small or large local events, pop-up brand experiences, and participation in festivals. Doing so will help them create a memorable and immersive experience for customers to interact with their products and other customers.
2. Video content is taking over
Looking at the growth or increased popularity of platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Snapchat among others, video is irrefutably taking over the online space. In the past, people had to watch the TV to consume video content including news, movies, sports, adverts, and documentaries among others. However, things have quickly taken an upturn with advanced technology, as now people can watch whatever they want anywhere in the world through their gadgets such as smartphones or tablets.
Take advantage of this rapidly growing trend by engaging your potential and prospective customers with videos, for instance, those demonstrating the use of your products or how to order goods from your site. The reason is that people are increasingly interested in visual content rather than reading a bunch of text to understand a given concept. Furthermore, videos can easily be shared across social media platforms, allowing you to reach a bigger audience.
3. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
Most prospective customers disregard new products due to the risk that comes with trying out or purchasing a product for the first time. They might not like it. However, this ought not to be your worry anymore, thanks to the use of virtual/augmented reality. This technology allows prospects to give your products a test before ordering.
- Virtual reality helps in creating an entirely different environment that users can Aside from being common in the gaming world, your business can take advantage of this technology to take its marketing strategy to the next level.
- Augmented reality allows objects to be inserted into a real-life environment. As such, people can include items into an environment and view how they would appear.
Companies like IKEA, for instance, have turned to augmented reality technology to help their customers in purchasing pieces of furniture by first viewing how they would fit into their space. On the other hand, Volvo has applied virtual reality in taking potential buyers through a mountain drive, particularly in the Volvo XC90 SUV. Looking at such examples, it is possible that such technologies could increasingly become popular in 2021 and in the future.
4. Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
Over the past few years, the popularity of chatbot and AI tools has dramatically increased. Most companies have turned to these technologies to improve customer experience. The advancement of artificial intelligence (AI) over the past years has had a considerable impact on the ability of chatbots to hold a simple conversation with customers as well as assume the role of a live human customer support rep.
Using a live chat support system coupled with live customer representatives is a good thing for your business. However, this technique comes with several challenges such as staffing and long wait durations for customers. Hence, it is best to focus on the future by considering trends such as chatbots, which do not require staffing expenses and can respond to queries almost instantly. In 2021 and the years to come, artificial intelligence and chatbot tools will have greatly improved, thanks to rapid technological improvements.
5. Email Marketing
Over the years, email has become a popular tool. However, this tool has changed from being a channel for conveying documents from one person to another to a useful marketing tool. As email becomes more personalized, businesses have leveraged this quality to help them send different emails to the various subscriber by looking at their individual interests.
Since email marketing is only gaining more traction in the marketing space, it should not be ruled out in 2021 or in the near future. Hence, try to repurpose your email communication to become a customer engagement and lead nurture tool.
6. Marketing Automation
In essence, it entails the existence of software tools that help in automating marketing efforts. Most marketing departments today have resulted in automating mundane or repetitive actions in a bid to allow marketing experts to concentrate on other fundamental and complex matters. Here are some reasons why this ought to be part of your company’s marketing efforts:
- Reduces errors
Human is to error. Hence, do not expect your marketing representatives to be completely perfect. At times, some of them may forget crucial details. With marketing automation technologies, you do not have to worry about such mistakes. You can get software that alerts to your marketing team to keep them on track.
- Boosts collaboration
Marketing automation software increases the collaboration between marketing and sales departments. It avails the necessary information to any department.
- Get rid of time wastage
Mundane tasks such as copying led information manually can consume a lot of time. To avoid that, employ marketing automation software to get the job done.
7. Native Advertisements
The effectiveness of web banners has been dwindling in recent years. Aside from ignoring them, humans use Ad-blocking tools to keep them from interfering with their Internet or web browsing activity. As such, the best way to rise above this impediment is to use native ads, which are social media adverts that are designed and displayed in a user’s timeline. These ads may include LinkedIn sponsored updates, or even Instagram promoted posts. In 2021, take advantage of native advertising to tell your company’s story in a way that enables you to make a better and reinforced connection with your target audience.
8. Omnichannel Marketing
Ideally, this entails the use of multiple sales approaches that give customers an integrated client experience. Now, consumers are more complex than ever and find their information through different channels. Originally, multichannel marketing came about to assist prospects in communicating with enterprises via different channels. Although this was an improvement from single-channel marketing, it is yet to solve most consumer issues. For this reason, most businesses have shifted their attention to omnichannel marketing, as it offers a better experience for your prospective customers. In fact, it provides a consistent and flawless communication process to both customers and prospects across numerous digital and physical channels.
To embark on omnichannel marketing in 2021, get a customer relationship management (CRM) program to assist you in tracking all your communications with clients on multiple platforms.
9. Social Media Marketing
Social media is here to stay. Expect platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest to become increasingly popular in the coming years. The beauty of these platforms is that they allow easy communication, networking, and offer a wide marketing base. Therefore, it would be unwise for your business not to capitalize on social marketing not only now but also in 2021 and possibly in the future.
Bear in mind that dominating one social media platform does not guarantee business success. However, repurposing your content, particularly across all your platforms can give you the desired marketing results.
10. Visual Search
Visual search offers a unique and personalized shopping experience. All that customers have to do is take a picture of an object they would like to purchase then search for similar objects online. However, this technology is still being fine-tuned to allow machines to recognize a wide array of patterns, sizes, shapes, colors, and other aspects in an effort to boost their accuracy. All the same, visual search marketing could be better in 2021 than it is now. Hence, this is a trend worth a keen watch.
Digital marketing techniques have been a crucial aspect of business for some time now. They have allowed companies to transform their marketing efforts, expedite their lead generation endeavors, boost their online presence, as well as increase their sales and revenue. Hence, do not expect this trend to change suddenly in 2021. Instead, focus on the above trends and many others to identify the ones that can be useful to your enterprise.