How the Top Digital Marketing Trends Will Evolve in 2021
Seeing how 2020 has decided to deliver us with some major surprises, many marketers were forced to go back to the drawing board. January’s plan was in the trash by end of Q1 and ever since, the marketing space has become more and more competitive.
How we purchase our food, how we spend our free time, how we interact, and with who, it has all been affected. This requires us to readjust accordingly to gain attention and meet our new objectives. Although at times it may seem challenging to adapt to the new normal, let alone define it, we need to foresee any upcoming trends and get started while it is fresh.
To get into our list of trends for 2021, we will have to look at 2020’s events. Here are 7 marketing trends you would be wise to keep your eye on going into 2021.
- Video advertisement
Most might see this first trend as an obvious one but still worth mentioning since it is still underutilizing. With everyone at home, people have turned their eyes to their screens for entertainment which has been very profitable for businesses using video advertisement.
For example, the fitness industry had an opportunity to maintain or increase revenue through online sales. Videos with “home workout“ in the title have increased by 515% since March 15th 2020. Although gyms were closing, fitness experts were selling online classes, fitness equipment and nutrition plans by investing in video advertisement and getting a good ROI.
As of 2020, YouTube users views one billion hours of videos each day and this number doubled since March 2020. The rapid rise of online video views had Facebook follow suit and is now displaying more focus on videos with Facebook watch. Ted Zagat, a Facebook Executive claimed. “A year or two from now, we think Facebook will be mostly video”
With more people using blogs, streaming sites and apps increasing, the power of video advertisement will amplify in 2021.
- Virtual Reality Marketing
While we may not have reached the point of digital teleportation and flying cars just yet, it is hard to ignore how different our world has become compared to what it was decades ago. Innovative technology has allowed companies from various industries to connect with their audience in fascinating ways.
Since consumer expectations are at an all-time high, marketers must employ communication campaigns to better connect with potential customers. Thus, many marketers have incorporated virtual reality into the mix.
Hardware technology within virtual reality allows a more personable experience with the user. VR marketing has been used by companies like Mercedes Benz, Absolut Vodka and UNICEF to give consumers a new experience with their products and services. We can benefits from 360 visions for a test-driving experience, glove with haptic technology for feeling products in hand, and VR treadmills for a scenic walk in our next travel destination.
VR sales are rising from 10.1 million in 2016 to an estimated 99.4 million in 2021. Its popularity is growing and is set to be competing against gaming consoles. In addition, VR devices becoming more affordable and will attract more users into its world in 2021.
- SEO and Answer Box
Search engine optimization is very much alive, and its importance will live on through 2021. However, the rules have shifted, and SEO experts must execute accordingly. Gone are the days of ranking #1 and “eternally” enjoying the fruits of your labor.
The increase of mobile searches has search engines prioritize mobile friendly websites. A good user experience on the mobile version is not a luxury but a necessity as Google and others crawl through websites from a mobile point of view rather than a desktop.
Yes, backlinks and quality content are important factors, but there is now a great number of denominators that must be considered to rank and maintain a healthy position in a result page. Tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Screaming Frog are needed for key word research, rank tracking, competitor analysis and website auditing.
Although #1 ranking is a good position, Google’s answer box from the result page is an alternative prize. The rise of smart speakers and mobile phones increased voice commands and voice searches, which are now responsible for 45% of all searches. The fact that the growth is not near its peak pushes companies to rank for long tail keywords and question-based keywords that would most likely be vocalized by their audiences.
Before March, businesses would use the competitive spirit to move forward. Now they are mostly operating off survival, which means, some businesses who used to consider SEO, may now see it as a risky option with no clear benefit. However, with an increase of search volume, there are many industries that will continue to strive in 2021 such as entertainment, residential real estate, ecommerce and more.
- Google maps pack
Those who are staying at home during quarantine used to go to a shop to purchase goods but now must order online. Those who manage to buy in person are now taking pre-emptive action to minimize an unsatisfied or disappointing experience.
Customers want to know if a business is still operating, where they are currently located and if the business can provide exactly what they are ready to buy. At this point, having an updated and clear local listing map pack is paramount for customers to stay loyal to your store. With the unfortunate decline of businesses, customers are sticking with what they know and if they discover a local store, they will most likely grow accustom to getting their a specific need from your business as opposed to sopping around.
The reviews, the address, the hours of operation and current COVID-friendly measures must be updated to build confidence in the customers. Without these factors, #1 in the map pack will be a waste. With buyers making purchasing decisions with more scrutiny, having updated basic information will help make easier decisions for customers in the next year.
Every company needs online representation away from third party directories to engage with their customer. A website can demonstrate its purpose through the designs and user interface and build trust among visitors. Although people go to search engines for products and services, 30% of consumers will not consider a business without a website.
Map pack can provide general information about a business but a website is an information hub for customers to learn more about specifics: pricing, contact, history, news, procedures, etc. Templated directory type websites are good to give quick fundamentals but for to highlighting your businesses strong points and differentiate from competitors.
Making that information easily accessible, clarifies your purpose and helps build long-lasting relationship with your customers. It is important for every business to share their values, security measures, business news and objectives.
- Online shop
If there is a way to provide online shopping to your customers, it is highly encouraged to do so. Setting up an online purchasing option, either through a shop subdomain, Shopify, Uber Eats or online purchasing platforms can only do good for the number of sales.
Since March, consumer online spending has increased tremendously. COVID has recurring online spenders increase their purchasing and has pushed online shopping naysayers to purchase their first item. A few major industries have heavily profited: 777% increase in book purchases, 182% growth in the toys and games and 131% growth among sports and outdoors items, which includes gym equipment.
Not only does being accessible online helps you connect with local customers but can also reach potential customers worldwide. This year has encouraged people worldwide to familiarize connect with one another electronically.
- Social media
Finally, social media will always be a pillar in modern marketing and is playing a big part in our current social life. It is a space for branding, advertisement, engagement, traffic generation, an industry of its own. No matter what your objective is, the realm of social media can deliver.
More than half of the people on the planet uses social media and usage has increased ever since people have been spending more time at home. Social media sites are masters at sustaining more engagement than anyone else which is why major brands, influencers, YouTubers, SEO experts and others are all on social media using it for their own specialized purpose.
Is that all for 2021 Marketing?
Of course, there are more than 7 marketing strategies for 2021 that can still be executed under this pandemic. However, these are the top trends that we believe requires immediate attention for the following year. Through these challenging times, we must move quickly and keep our eyes open or the next marketing opportunities. This year with no idea how bad things can get but next year, we will be triumphant.