5 Big Digital Marketing Trends for 2021
Some familiar concepts are evolving and expanding, while new approaches are also emerging to serve the changing economy.
While 2020 is now behind us, much of the disruption and many of the changes it brought to our lives are still firmly here – and in many cases won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Nevertheless, despite the obvious negatives of the crisis, the dramatic shifts in lifestyles and consumption it has made necessary have also given rise to some very innovative new processes and product offerings – as well as marketing methods employed by companies to engage customers.
Even beyond Covid-19 and its effects on economies across the world, there are other digital marketing trends that we saw emerging prior to and during 2020, which will likely evolve and expand going into the future.
So, let’s get to it: what are some of the key digital marketing trends to expect in the coming year?
In this article, we’ll be focusing on a selection of trends that pertain to both the ‘front-end’ and ‘back-end’ of digital marketing: trends that are changing how companies communicate to their target markets, and trends that are changing how companies understand their target markets.
According to Sherene Hilal of Marketing specialists Bluecore, companies will need to quickly begin demonstrating that all of the data gathering they carry out on their customers and site visitors is used to improve customer and user experiences.
Online shoppers are beginning to be more demanding when it comes to what e-merchants present them for purchase, with personalization according to purchase history, site behaviour and user profile becoming increasingly expected.
This is an important point to remember: if companies do not adequately convert the data users share with them into benefits, then it is only a matter of time before customers begin to question the arrangement, taking their business to sites that use data to create better, more personalized offerings for them. You can read our previous article on Unified Commerce to get more detailed idea on one of the ways smaller retailers are making use of customer data to provide better customer experiences.
2.Refined Social Media
As social media usage continues to evolve, so too are the ways companies are choosing to use the medium for community engagement and sales.
One of the key trends to watch out for – and consider – going into 2021 is a much more streamlined and considered social media presence for companies.
Long gone are the days when a social media manager would simply post the same picture or video and caption across all platforms – now, it’s all about curated content for each channel, and potentially only running two or even one social media channel, if that makes sense according to your business segment and target audience’s preferences.
As social media channel usage continues to become stratified along demographic lines, this makes sense: after all, why would a company selling products to millennials curate their social media for a Facebook page (which is bleeding younger users at a record pace), when focusing and specializing on the Instagram and Snapchat accounts millennials use in a big way can create better engagement?
Another interesting development with social media is the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook as direct online shopping mediums. Have you made it easy to shop directly through your social media channels? If not, it might be a good idea to start look into it.
One dimension of online engagement that was very much an afterthought prior to the pandemic has since exploded in popularity – for obvious reasons. Although most people would probably consider attending virtual events a second choice to doing the real thing, the reality is that they have become one of the key platforms for remaining engaged in real time with large amounts of people within the current context.
Added to that, Virtual Events have also shown individuals – and digital marketers – that it is possible and potentially very rewarding to use the Internet for larger social functions, which can be attended from anywhere in the world. When done right, virtual events can mean many more attendees with much lower costs.
This has created a huge potential for companies that are able to deliver valuable and rewarding experiences to virtual attendees. It also requires getting creative with content, hiring great speakers and offering the chance for exciting participation-based rewards.
Position Zero refers to the position at the top of Google’s search result page, which provides a larger snippet and outline of content on a site. Google normally rewards websites with a clear breakdown of an issue or ‘How to’ question with this position.
Websites that are able to position themselves at the top of a search result page in this way are able establish a level of authority to users that far surpasses that of a sponsored add or position on the results page, because users intuitively understand that the website has been featured because it provides valuable content in relation to their search query.
While great ‘Position Zero’ content might mean less Click-through Rates (because users are able to obtain the information they need directly from the search page), the users that do click through will be better prepared to trust and rely on your website and brand if it has Google’s highest mark of approval.
A trend that was big prior to the crisis is likely to re-emerge as the most powerful feature of global marketing campaigns once we are able to begin focusing on a return to some kind of normality.
Companies will be well-advised to ensure they have a robust and proactive environmental responsibility and sustainability strategy, and to be vocal and proud of the efforts and projects they are undertaking or partnering with to boost their environmental credentials.
Going into the future, we can expect customers to increasingly demand and expect clear sustainability commitments from the companies they give their business to, and that they will punish those that fall behind or disappoint in this regard, by taking their business elsewhere.
When it comes to digital marketing departments’ communication of sustainability policies and initiatives, the main task will be to develop content that is inspiring and hopeful, while maintaining a respect for the serious environmental challenges facing the world.
Using the digital marketing techniques we’ve discussed to forge more effective ways of communicating a company’s sustainability credentials will likely pay good dividends going into the future.
Are you about to embark on a new digital marketing campaign? Have you thought about what techniques and channels you’ll be using to reach your customers in the coming year? Bocasay is here to help you turn those ideas into a journey and then a reality. Get in touch to find out what we can do for you.