Digital Marketing Trends

Digital Marketing Trends 2021

Technology has drastically changed the business landscape and digital marketing trends. There are now countless tools that allow us to buy and sell products without leaving the comforts of our home. Undeniably, technology has made life easier for both customers and entrepreneurs in different ways. 

As technology changes how we do business, it’s also crucial to change how we market our products and services. Gone are the days when customers depended on billboards, flyers, and brochures to learn more about a business. Today, customers turn to the internet to check the legitimacy and discover the offerings of a business. 

What Is Digital Marketing?

Simply defined, digital marketing is the practice of using the internet to reach customers and promote products and services. Digital marketing is a broad term usually associated with content marketing, social media marketing, and other online practices.

Regardless of the nature of our business, it’s crucial that we prioritize creating and implementing a robust digital marketing strategy as this is our ticket to long-term success. In fact, small businesses can benefit from digital marketing strategies as these enable them to engage with customers and build a trustworthy name online without the need to spend thousands of dollars. 

Having a robust digital marketing strategy in 2021 and beyond will also make our businesses more accessible online and encourage our customers to come directly to us. Most importantly, a digital marketing campaign can help us better learn about our target audience so we can easily create processes and offerings that suit their needs and budgets. 

7 Top Digital Marketing Trends of 2021

With the number of businesses out there spending resources on improving their digital marketing strategies, it’s not enough that we create one just for the sake of it. The competition is stiff in the business arena, and that includes how businesses create digital marketing strategies. Implementing a half-bait digital marketing campaign will do more harm than good to our business operations and its image.

To maximize the benefits of digital marketing, we should stay-up-to-date with the trends, conduct research on what strategies work, and gradually implement these strategies in the business. Creating an effective digital marketing strategy will always require time, so we shouldn’t rush the process or make hasty decisions.

Our businesses will have better chances of thriving and succeeding in the digital era if we benchmark and implement the following digital marketing trends of 2021:

Artificial Intelligence

One of the greatest inventions introduced to and used by businesses is artificial intelligence. This technology uses machines to mimic how humans behave and think. Unlike humans, however, AI doesn’t have emotions and or a conscience. 

Artificial intelligence has become so effective in the workplace that countless businesses worldwide have replaced their employees with machines. There are now companies that use robots for teaching students different languages, and for cleaning floors in hotels and malls. 

When it comes to digital marketing, we can use artificial intelligence in the following ways:

  • Creating and generating content: Content is king in digital marketing. Regularly publishing high-quality content is vital for businesses to create authority online and rope in more customers.

    One of the most well-known applications of AI to digital marketing is the creation of content. Today, we can utilize AI tools that will create content on our behalf. Most of these AI tools will also only require us to input a title, list of subtopics, and word count.

    Using AI to create content is a cost-effective investment as we don’t have to hire more employees to take on the task. Often, AI-generated content has equal levels of quality to that produced by humans. 
  • Automation of email marketing: When done properly, email marketing can help us boost sales and create stronger customer relationships. These are just some of the reasons why we should use AI in improving the efficacy of our email marketing efforts, as it can customize campaigns based on the behaviors and preferences of our target audience. 

With AI, we can easily determine when is the best time and day of the week to reach out to our customers and how often we should do it. AI can also help us determine what types of content our target audience wants to see and which email subjects are attractive to them. 

The information we can get from AI makes it easy for us to streamline our efforts as we’ll know how to improve our campaigns and avoid wasting resources during the process. 

Content Marketing

Statistics show that over 85% of customers research online before buying a product or service. This means that the information customers see online — both negative and positive — can affect their buying decisions. 

The ability of different types of content to highlight the best features of a business is one of the reasons why this type of strategy is a must when creating a digital marketing campaign. Content marketing is no longer new in the business landscape, but it’s still being implemented by countless businesses because of its cost-effectivity. 

In its simplest sense, content marketing is the creation of various online materials, such as articles, blogs, and social media posts, in stimulating customers’ interests. Unlike traditional forms of marketing, content marketing doesn’t explicitly promote products and services. It’s utilized to provide content to a specific target audience with the goal of driving profitable customer actions. 

However, implementing a successful content marketing strategy doesn’t only require us to publish content regularly on different online platforms. When it comes to content marketing, quality is just as important as the quantity of the content we publish. Publishing a poorly written article will only shine a bad light on our business and possibly shoo away potential customers. 

To ensure that our content marketing strategy brings about optimal results, we should consider the following when creating it:

  • Only publish the best material: As mentioned, quality is vital in content marketing. Publishing content every single day on various websites will be useless if these are mediocre and inaccurate. Aside from leaving web visitors confused, poorly written articles can adversely affect our SEO rankings. 

We’ll have a better chance of succeeding in content marketing if we only publish our best material. This means that we should focus our time on creating high-quality articles and publish them once a week rather than cutting out research time in order to publish an article every day. 

Publishing high-quality articles will help our business create authority in a specific niche. Once web visitors have identified that our articles are factual and well-researched, it won’t be long before they rely on our content when making decisions. 

  • Include data and statistics when presenting arguments: The accessibility of the internet is a two-edged sword — it allows individuals to easily gain information, but this accessibility also permits anyone to post fictitious or false information. This is one of the reasons why most people don’t immediately believe the information they see online. 

To avoid confusion among our web visitors and build trustworthiness in the online community, we should include data and statistics when presenting arguments in our articles. If we asserted that Facebook is the most used social media platform in the world, we should be able to link the statement to data and statistics that support this claim. 

Adding data and statistics to our content makes it easier for our web visitors to determine which information is factual. Over time, presenting facts through content becomes our ticket to earn the trust of web visitors. 

  • Ensure that your content matches with the voice of the brand: Since there are thousands of pieces of content published every day, we should make sure that ours is memorable. We won’t be able to maximize our published content if web visitors find it similar to any other content online. 

Ensuring that our content matches the voice of our brand is also an excellent way of making it memorable. Ideally, we should only publish content that reflects the values of our company and has a tone that will give web visitors an idea of what to expect from the brand. 

Publishing content with our brands in mind will provide a unique experience to web visitors and enable us to consistently publish articles that are cohesive. 

Chatbots

It’s common for customers to have any number of questions before buying from a particular business. This is especially true if the business is still new or small in the industry. While we can employ customer sales reps to answer customers’ questions, their services don’t always guarantee the best results. Hiring several sales reps to ensure that customers are attended to 24/7 isn’t always financially feasible because aside from paying their salaries, we also pay several other benefits.

The prevalence of chatbots can be a godsend for businesses that have limited financial resources. As the name suggests, chatbots are software applications utilized to engage in an online conversation via chat or voice to customers. Chatbots are used in lieu of a live human agent and can automate conversations in different online platforms. 

According to statistics, 74% of customers worldwide would prefer interacting with chatbots than human agents because the former provides instant answers and is available 24/7. The technology can also help us save money in the long run. This is because a chatbot can take on mundane tasks, which means that we don’t have to hire or train employees for the job. 

Chatbots can bring countless benefits to businesses, which is why we should make the most out of them and include them in our digital marketing strategies. We can use chatbots in our digital marketing campaigns in the following ways:

  • Engage with web visitors: The experience web visitors have when they visit our websites can make or break their decision of patronizing our brand. Regardless of how cheap our products are, if they’re unhappy with the experience they have on our website, they’ll still choose to buy from our competitors. 

One of the most common ways to use chatbots for digital marketing campaigns is to use them as a tool to engage and communicate with web visitors. Having a chatbot that immediately answers questions will make web visitors feel valued and can become the reason why they choose to do business with us. 

When using chatbots to engage and communicate with web visitors, it’s important to make sure that the tech sounds human and has a voice and tone that aligns with our brands. The more personal these chatbots sound, the more engaged web visitors will be with us. 

  • Conduct research: Entrepreneurs are expected to conduct research regularly. As mentioned, the business industry is regularly changing, and we need to research to be able to keep up with these changes.

While we can always do our research manually, taking on this task will require a lot of time. This is especially true for research that covers extensive variables. Fortunately, conducting research becomes a breeze with the use of chatbots. The software is both flexible and versatile, and it can conduct research on our behalf. 

Chatbots can do so much for any kind of business — from finding prospective customers to analyzing web traffic. Chatbots can also help us research the best content to use in order to outplay the competition. 

  • Sell products: The end goal of a digital marketing strategy is to sell products in order to increase profits — and this is something that chatbots can help us with. 

Aside from replying to messages online, chatbots can also be used to send brochures to web visitors highlighting our new or on-sale products. We can also match the keywords of the messages that web visitors send us to the descriptions of products in the brochure. Once set, web visitors will receive product offers relevant to their queries. 

The ability of chatbots to reply in real-time and send a list of products that match the queries of web visitors will improve their experience with our online platforms. When this happens, it’ll be easier for us to turn these web visitors into paying customers. 

Conversational Marketing

Conversations are vital in any marketing medium as this allows us to show customers that we value them while at the same time being able to provide value for their hard-earned money. Conversations also evoke emotions that can create happy memories. When this happens, customers will have the motivation to take action and purchase our products and services. 

Although digital marketing relies on technology, we shouldn’t disregard the need and importance of giving our marketing efforts a “personal touch.” In fact, we should program the apps and software that we’re using to create healthy and engaging conversations with our customers. 

Conversational marketing is one of the newest digital marketing trends that is expected to make waves in 2021. This strategy uses dialogue-driven activities to engage with web visitors and convert them into leads. Conversational marketing is a type of inbound digital marketing wherein businesses focus on the interactions they have with customers rather than communicating one-way about their products and services. 

Conversational marketing is relatively new in the business arena, but we can integrate this strategy into our digital marketing campaigns by:

  • Engaging with customers: Chatbots play a vital role in our attempts to implement conversational marketing. However, we shouldn’t simply employ chatbots and let them send messages that sound too automated or robotic to web visitors. This will discourage web visitors from engaging with us online. 

For us to implement a conversational marketing strategy, we should personalize our chatbots in a way that they will respond more personally to our web visitors. We can program them to use the first names of visitors and add emojis to their messages.

For first-time visitors, we can also program our chatbots to offer discounts and promos. Doing this is a great way to keep web visitors engaged and prolong their stay on our website. 

  • Understanding the audience: It’d be challenging for us to keep the conversation going with our web visitors if we don’t understand them and their needs in the first place. How can we suggest products and services to individuals if we don’t have any idea what their pain points are? 

Another tip to fully implement conversational marketing is to exert effort to understand our web visitors. We can do this by designing chatbots that require web visitors to choose from different options. This could be their location, gender, or spending budget. We can then segment them based on their responses. 

Depending on their answers, we’ll be able to provide personalized content or messages to suit their needs. This will make it easier for web visitors to stay engaged as they know that their needs have been identified and will be addressed during the conversation. 

  • Recommending solutions: After programming chatbots to engage with web visitors, it’s important not to leave them hanging. For us to effectively share meaningful conversations with our customers, we need to recommend solutions or answers to their problems, and we won’t have any issues achieving this goal as chatbots can easily collect information on our behalf. 

The final step in implementing conversational marketing is to recommend solutions to our web visitors. If web visitors have limited budgets for their next purchase, we should program our chatbots to recommend products that are on sale or off-season. If most of our web visitors are outside of the location of our stores, then our chatbots should inform them about our delivery rates and how they can save money on their delivery expenses.

Recommending solutions to web visitors will put their minds at ease and encourage them to continue to patronize our businesses. Remember, companies may offer the same products, but how we treat our potential customers can make a lot of difference. 

Video Marketing

Content is essential to any digital marketing campaign, but this doesn’t mean that we can only make the most out of articles and blogs to improve our strategies. Aside from written content, we can also utilize videos to aid our existing digital marketing strategies. Highly informative videos may require more tools and skills to create, but their benefits are worth it.

Video marketing has been around for quite some time, but it’s expected to become more popular in 2021. Adding this medium to our digital marketing strategies can help us to grow our revenue, influence our customers’ buying decisions, and increase our website traffic. Video marketing can also help our websites to rank better in search engines, allowing us to reach more customers and create better visibility online. 

With the number of businesses using video marketing today, we should exhaust all resources to ensure that ours are both effective and unique. Merely publishing any old video on YouTube with our business name and logo in it won’t do any good to our existing digital marketing campaigns.

The following tips can help us create great marketing videos that can boost the efficacy of our marketing campaigns:

  • Tell a story: Creating videos can be an easy task given the variety of video editing apps out there today. However, creating effective marketing videos doesn’t solely rely on one’s ability to add graphics or fonts to a video. Adding too many design elements when creating a video will only make the medium look too cluttered and unprofessional. 

Our marketing videos will have better chances of attracting more customers if they tell a story. The videos we create should appeal to our target audience and ensure that they evoke emotion. Showcasing a story in our marketing videos will also make the medium more relatable and our business becomes more “human” rather than being a faceless entity in the market. 

  • Create an appealing introduction: Statistics show that one-fifth of your viewers will click away from a video if they don’t see any interesting content within the first ten seconds. This means that most web visitors will only need ten seconds to decide whether they should continue watching our videos or not. 

To ensure that web visitors stay glued to our videos from start to finish, we should make sure that they contain an appealing and attention-grabbing introduction. The introduction of our videos should be inspiring, informative, and entertaining enough to hook viewers and encourage them to finish it and share it with their friends and family. 

  • Don’t be boring: Keep in mind that the videos we publish online will reflect how web visitors view our brand or business. If we publish boring videos, web visitors will think that our products and services are also dull, leaving them with no reason to patronize our offerings. 

It’s important that the marketing videos we create and publish are interesting. Aside from featuring a story, we can achieve this goal by injecting humor into our videos and getting straight to the point early on. Asking our target audience for the type of content they want to see in marketing videos can also help. 

Influencer Marketing

Creating a strong online presence isn’t a walk in the park, especially for businesses that are small or new to the industry. These types of businesses are often surrounded by competitors that have become household brands, making it challenging for them to thrive and be different. 

Incorporating influencer marketing is an excellent way for us to stand out from the competition. This type of digital marketing strategy uses product mentions and endorsements from influencers or individuals who have a large social following online and are considered experts in their chosen niches. 

Since influencers already have an established name in a specific niche, collaborating with them is one of the most effective ways of creating an online presence. These influencers have spent years building up their profiles, which means that we don’t have to start from scratch in attracting customers and creating a positive brand online. 

Influencer marketing also allows us to quickly build trust among online users and improve our brand awareness. This type of strategy can help us to quickly reach our target audience and even expand to new ones. 

Unfortunately, with the number of individuals coining themselves as influencers today, it’s important to stay keen on our efforts. Partnering with the wrong influencer, for instance, can have adverse effects on our efforts in building a strong online presence. 

For us to maximize influencer marketing and lessen risks, following these tips can be helpful:

  • Establish your goals: Before we contact well-known influencers to jumpstart our influencer marketing campaigns, we should first determine what our goals are. It’ll be challenging for us to progress and select the best influencer if we don’t have any goals set.

Some of the most common goals we can have for our influencer marketing campaigns are driving more traffic to our websites, promoting a brand new product, or generating sales. We can also implement an influencer marketing campaign in an attempt to retain customers, increase social media followers, and reach a new target audience. 

Regardless of what our goals are, these should always be measurable and time-bounded. After planning out what we want for our business to achieve from influencer marketing, we should come up with a timeline and short-term milestones to determine if we’re still on schedule. 

  • Choose the right influencers: As more and more people rely on the internet, we should expect to come across hundreds or even thousands of influencers when we decide to work with them for our digital marketing efforts. The number of influencers out there today allows us to have options, but having too many to choose from can cause unnecessary stress. 

To save ourselves from this unwanted stress and ensure that our influencer marketing campaign is effective, we should be extremely careful about the influencer we choose to work with. This is an important decision to make because the influencer who will represent our business in the online community can speak volumes about our brand and what we can do for our customers. 

For us to choose the right influencer, we should first determine if a certain influencer has the same target audience as our business. If our business sells activewear to women, then we should only shortlist influencers known for their expertise in health and wellness. If the business offers apparel for men, we should only consider influencers who are loved for their unique fashion sense. 

After shortlisting influencers who cater to the same target audience as our business, we should then assess if they can help us accomplish our goals. If our goal is to improve our brand in social media, then the influencer we choose should have thousands or millions of followers on these platforms. 

  • Build the relationships: For an endorsement to look and feel natural, we should be able to create healthy relationships with the influencers we choose to work with. We can achieve this goal by sending them samples of our products and giving out discounts for our services. Answering all of their questions promptly can also help.

Just like any other relationship, however, keep in mind that building one with an influencer will require time, so it’s important that we remain patient and consistent with our efforts. 

Social Media Marketing

Statistics have predicted that social media platforms will have 4.41 billion users by 2025. This number is expected to grow in the coming years because of the unique features available on these platforms. Social media platforms are also easy to navigate and don’t require a hefty sum of money for users to enjoy their features. 

Social media marketing has been around for decades, but the marketing strategies that are deemed effective for it evolve over time. This means that the marketing strategies formulated for social media years ago won’t guarantee the best results when implemented today. In the same manner, useful social media marketing strategies today won’t be as effective when used in the next two to five years.  

For us to come up with and implement the best social media marketing campaigns, it’s important for us to adapt to the changes happening around us. This is important because these changes can affect how appealing certain social media marketing strategies are and what our target audience is actually expecting to see from us on social media. 

We can elevate our social media marketing strategies by following these tips:

  • Research the target audience: Our social media marketing strategies won’t have any direction if we don’t have any idea who our target audience is. In fact, our inability to determine our target audience and their needs will make it challenging for us to create a social media marketing strategy at all. 

Before we even create profiles on different social media platforms, it’s best to start by researching our target audiences first. Ideally, we should determine their pain points and demographics. 

There are many ways in which we can learn more about our target audience, and surveying them is a great place to start. We can also take part in their conversations or reply to the questions they leave on different social media platforms. 

When we know who our target audience is, we won’t have any problems creating an effective social media marketing strategy that is meant to help them. Understanding the behavior of our target audience will also make it very easy for us to streamline our efforts and prevent wasting resources in creating campaigns that won’t do any good to our business. 

  • Select platforms wisely: Contrary to popular belief, creating profiles on all social media platforms will not instantly increase our chances of succeeding. Doing this will only harm our business image because creating too many profiles makes it challenging for us to update all of them in the long run. When this happens, we’ll end up having stale profiles that create a negative brand or image in public. 

For our social media marketing strategy to reap long-term benefits, we should select platforms carefully. Before creating a profile on any social media platform, we should first research our options and assess the pros and cons of each. This will enable us to determine which platform will work best for our specific business. 

Some of the most common social media platforms we can choose from today are:

  • Facebook: This platform is suitable for businesses that regularly post news and entertainment-related content. Facebook is the most useful social media platform worldwide, with 2.7 billion active users every month. 
  • Instagram: The “gram” is the perfect option for businesses that regularly post visual content, such as short videos and high-quality images. Instagram can also make our business more visible through the use of hashtags. 
  • Pinterest: This social media platform is similar to Instagram because it uses videos and images as tools for marketing. Using this platform is known to effectively increase traffic to websites and blogs and help humanize our brand. 
  • YouTube: This platform is utilized to share and view millions of videos. YouTube is a great platform to use for businesses that provide tutorial videos and often collaborate with influencers. 
  • Twitter: Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter only allows users to post updates with 280 characters. This platform is best suited to businesses that want to expand their customer service and provide real-time updates to their target audience.
  • Connect with the audience: A successful social media marketing strategy requires long-term commitment because after creating a profile, we need to regularly use this platform to engage with our target audiences. It’s not called “social” media for nothing, right?

There are many ways for us to connect with our audiences using social media. For starters, we can interact with them through personal chats by sending updates about new products and services. We can also share or repost content that they’ve posted online, especially if they’re using any of our products or services. Replying to comments — both negative and positive — on various social media platforms can also help. 

Mastering the basics of connecting and engaging with our audience through social media can help our businesses to gain more leads. These practices can also make consumers feel valued and appreciated, things that customers often look for before deciding which business to patronize. 

Digital Marketing Agency – Invest in Professional Help –

The digital marketing campaigns that we create and implement for our businesses are important because they affect our success in the ever-competitive world of business. With a robust digital marketing campaign, we can engage with more customers and earn higher profits in the long run. 

With the number of digital marketing trends out there in 2021, choosing which to use for our businesses can become a challenge. This is especially true if our businesses have never created a digital marketing campaign in the past or are still new to the industry. 

Fortunately, our lives as entrepreneurs can become easier by outsourcing to a digital marketing agency. Since these agencies only employ highly trained individuals with years of experience in digital marketing, working with them is sure to jumpstart our digital marketing efforts. In fact, hiring these agencies is one of the smartest investments that any entrepreneur can make as this service allows us to save resources such as time, money, and energy. 

While our businesses may enjoy several benefits when working with a digital marketing agency, it’s important that we also remain cautious about the agency we decide to hire. Ideally, we should only invest in the services of an agency that has a good track record in the industry and has employees who possess strong communication skills and professionalism.

If we’re bombarded with too many options, it’s best to reach out to at least three different digital marketing agencies and meet up with them personally. We should prepare questions in advance so that we can learn more about these agencies and determine if they’re a good fit for our businesses. 

Digital Landscape – Key Takeaway Points

It’d be challenging for our businesses to succeed without a digital marketing campaign. Customers worldwide are relying heavily on the internet, and not making a name on this platform can become the sole reason why we lose both customers and profits. In the worst-case scenario, continuing to use traditional marketing mediums can even decrease the lifespan of our businesses. 

Now that we know what digital marketing trends to expect in 2021, we can draft our own campaigns and look out for digital marketing agencies that suit our needs. The sooner we do these tasks, the sooner our businesses can reap the benefits of an effective digital marketing campaign! 

References:

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