10 Major Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2021
The year 2020 turned out to be different from the previous few years with having all kinds of socio-political situations shake the world up. The unpredictable weather changes had their impact too. And of course, the greatest evil of the decade, COVID-19 made everyone's lives difficult.
This year got a lot of marketers scrambling to keep up. The events were coming like a thunderstorm. They are dramatically shaping the digital marketing landscape. The new normal has pushed to the top some features and practices. Earlier this year they were just at their beginning.
Look at eCommerce! No one knew that eCommerce would take such a place in people’s everyday life. This situation left marketers with no choice but to be creative and take action as soon as possible.
Facing the challenges, marketers adapted quickly to the new way of living. Besides all the difficulties, this is the golden era of digital marketing. And exactly this is the marketers’ advantage to attract and keep their customers.
As a marketer, it is normal to ask yourself how you can improve your digital marketing plans. And also how can you bring them to action. It is crucial to keep up with digital marketing trends in 2021 to be competitive in the digital world. No matter the industry you are in, you should take a look at the best practices for digital marketing in 2021.
1. Tend to Place Into Google’s Featured Snippets
It is common sense that the main goal of SEO is to place in position number one in the SERPs. But this is about to change and that change begins right now. The new main goal of SEO is to grab the “zero position”.
The “zero position” is the position in Google’s Featured Snippets. This position works differently than any other position in the search results. The visibility is outstanding! The reason is very simple - this result is rounded by a small box which separates it from the other results. And even more important - it is placed at the top!
The so-called “zero position” leads to another goal - “no-click search”. This refers to bringing up results that answer the user’s needs immediately. It is done without them having to make another click to find what they are looking for.
Here is a hint if you are about to target featured snippets - they work with long-tail keywords. They are more likely to shoot results that give a step-by-step explanation of “how to do it”.
2. Take a Step Ahead With Visual Searches
We are looking for pictures and videos by typing in keywords. But did you know that you can put an image and search for a context?
That’s right, it is possible! And more and more users are discovering this way of searching. The visual searches will change the SEO game forever. You should prepare yourself for this. Make sure that your visual SEO campaigns are in great shape.
Make sure to always include alt text in your pictures. This way, the search engine can relate the results. Also, have in mind the quality of the images you are using. This should be unquestionable. You don’t want shady pictures for your brand.
If you handle your SEO technique right, you will take traffic away from your competitors.
3. “Alexa, Where Is the Closest Italian Restaurant?”
Voice searches are becoming more and more popular. 20% of the Google queries in 2020 are searched using voice searches. This number will hit the roof in the upcoming years.
It is quite a challenge to optimize content for voice searches. Let's look at the other side of the coin. When the user is searching by voice, there is only one result for the voice query and you can be the one! So, when you make digital marketing efforts for your brand, optimizing for voice queries should be on your on-page SEO checklist.
4. Show Users That You Care for More Than Your Business
These days people are very passionate about environmentalism. They want to make sure that their favorite brands care for more than just taking money from them. They want to see that you really care about the planet and the environment.
Every brand can benefit from broadcasting their sustainability practices. You should communicate your sustainability through your content. You can show it through your branding or even by using eco-friendly packaging.
If your brand is not a product-based one, you can consider other options. For example, consider displaying a banner prominently on your website. Or you can discuss it on social media.
5. Use Content to Interact With Your Audience
Interactive content is one of the greatest trends toward personalization. Personalization is going to be one of the top digital marketing trends in 2021. Letting your audience interact with your brand is giving them more joy and is giving you more engagement.
You have a wide palette of interactive content. You can use:
- Open-end questions;
Use whatever your imagination leads you to. Have in mind that interacting with your audience increases the length of time they are engaging with your brand. Overall, it improves the user experience you provide. Use it wisely!
6. Shoppable Posts Are the New Purpose of Social Media
It becomes a usual event for users to shop right out of social media. The feature that Instagram released earlier gave businesses the opportunity to promote and sell their products using their posts. The main advantage of these posts is that they cut the time from awareness to conversion.
This kind of post is offering a one-stop-shop. The user can look for products and add them to the shopping cart without leaving the social platform. This is a great user experience. And it is an even greater opportunity for the brands, especially for small businesses.
In 2021 this will be one of the most important eCommerce digital marketing trends. And all because social platforms, especially Instagram will simplify the buying process. This is one of the best digital marketing trends for small businesses. So, don’t forget to implement shoppable posts in your plan.
7. Find the Right Way to Reach the Z-Generation
Z-generation is the new buying force. When you intend to reach them, find them in their natural habits. Without much thinking, we can make sure that their favorite platforms are: YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. Make sure that part of your investment goes to these platforms.
These sites emphasize videos and visuals. This makes it clear that Gen-Z prefers to watch instead of reading. Have in mind that this generation favors humor and absurdism more than any previous generation. So, remember to include them in your content, for example by using memes.
8. PPC Automation Is the New Black
Anyone who has worked with PPC can relate that having campaign efficiency is like climbing mountains. Battling for maximizing conversions while minimizing costs is the everyday struggle for every PPC marketer.
Nowadays, you can give this focus on efficiency to the new automation technology. This technology is based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. It is able to automate campaign efficiency.
Campaign automation is so powerful. This is because of its ability to make more optimal targeting depending on the people’s readiness to buy. They can predict some metrics which make marketers’ lives easier.
Automated bidding takes over. So don’t be surprised if manual bidding disappears in the near future.
9. Chatbots Were Trending and They Still Do
Every business wants to serve its customers in the most effective way. It became a practice to use chatbots in customer care fields. Using chatbots gives businesses the opportunity to serve their clients 24/7.
Using chatbots is becoming one of the biggest trends in digital marketing. The main advantage is their ability to handle and serve a large number of customers’ requests at the same time. Also, many people find it more comfortable “talking” to a chatbot instead of a real person.
10. The Boom of AR and VR Technology
One of the biggest breakthroughs in technology, digital marketing, and communications are Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). These technologies are improving communication between your brand and your customers by making it more realistic. Especially when they are not able to visit your sales sites.
This kind of experience is very unique these days. Having it will make your brand unforgettable to your customers.
Even though Virtual Reality is more known, it is expected that AR will outperform it in the upcoming years. So, stay on track!
Let’s Sum It All Up
The impact of the 2020 crisis will be visible beyond the next years as well. As digital marketers, you can still prosper in times like these. But you have to know the most important SaaS digital marketing trends, eCommerce trends, and every other industry that applies to the digital world.
Digital marketers have to invest more time and effort in order to align their digital marketing services to the “new normal”. Use everything from campaign automation to the benefits of artificial intelligence. Explore the benefits of the visual content formats and engage the Z-Generation by using ephemeral content.
We are moving toward the age of active consumers and brands will have to adopt the human-based approach. Make sure that your brand is ready to take the game over in 2021.