In 2021, the number of digital shoppers in the US will surpass the 230 million mark. That’s a 1.32 increase from 2020. From these statistics, it’s clear that every business bent on succeeding needs a digital marketing strategy.
But to have a robust digital marketing plan, you need to stay on top of current trends in online marketing. Understanding these digital marketing trends can help you capitalize on them and stay ahead of the competition.
So what are the top digital marketing trends of 2021? What kind of marketing and advertising are we seeing, and what can we expect before the year is out? More importantly, how can you leverage your business marketing knowledge around those trends?
If you’re asking these questions, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Digital Transformation to Continue
Digital transformation has been the focus of many businesses in recent years, and that is set to continue in 2021. That’s because companies realize that it may never be possible to return to business as normal.
Businesses across all industries will continue to rely on digital technology. The way they conduct business will also keep on changing. Agility in every facet of business will continue to be critical to business success.
2. Marketing Automation Is the New Norm
Arguably the top digital marketing trend of 2021 is the accelerated adoption of marketing automation. That’s because digital marketing technology is rapidly becoming more sophisticated.
The customer journey is a vastly fluid and dynamic one, with numerous touchpoints happening across different devices. That’s why a company needs to have sophisticated attributions models to accurately predict outcomes and calculate ROI. Tracking all the numbers manually is almost impossible, especially as a business grows.
To help make things easier, companies are investing in automation platforms. So far, 67 percent of marketers already use marketing automation software, and that number will only continue to increase in 2021.
Certainly, marketing automation tools have existed for years. However, developers keep releasing software with new digital capabilities. That technology will evolve further in 2021, allowing businesses to generate more personalized content, convert more leads, and track results.
3. Customers to Grow Numb to Digital Ads
Due to the effects of COVID-19, most consumers were locked in their homes for most of 2020. They spent much of their time in front of screens, making digital ads the go-to format for brands that wanted to engage their target consumers.
But with things normalizing, brands need to think beyond digital ads to re-engage their audience now. As customers grow numb to digital ads, out-of-door advertising will become an effective way to engage them.
4. Content Marketing to Keep Shining
Businesses have for years effectively used content marketing to direct audiences to their websites through search engine optimization (SEO). This approach also helps build trust with consumers.
Digital marketers will continue to invest in creating quality content in 2021. You can take advantage of this marketing approach by publishing consistent and top-notch content on your site through blog posts. You may want to hire content creation services to help you do so.
Note that content encompasses much more than blogs. Make use of ebooks, infographics, listicles, and whitepapers as well.
5. Programmatic Advertising Will Continue to Rise
Businesses that use paid advertising as part of their marketing strategy should invest in programmatic advertising in 2021. This trend is especially popular for its ability to offer:
- Insights into real-time reporting
- Enhanced protection from fraud
- Finite targeting options
- Comprehensive optimization of budget spending
It is for these reasons that this trend will be a top focus for many businesses in 2021.
6. Personalization Is the New Expectation
Sure, concerns about privacy remain high among consumers. However, most customers will only engage with brands that do personalized marketing.
Many consumers are opting to shun or unsubscribe from email campaigns that are mass-blasted. Rather than engaging with generic web pages, consumers want personable ones. What this means is that digital marketers in 2021 need to customize client communications and experiences based on those customers’ unique interests, preferences, and behavior.
Creating engaging and personalized communications doesn’t necessarily mean hiring numerous copyrights and designers. More companies are leveraging machine learning instead. Through this approach, you can infuse greater relevance into otherwise bland content.
7. Short Form Videos to Rule Social Media
As people’s boredom increased in 2020 while they remained indoors, many turned to short-form videos to get entertained. TikTok became the preferred social platform for Gen Z.
Facebook launched Instagram Reels and Snapchat implementing a major redesign.
With the increasing consumption of social media by all generations, companies will continue to redirect budgets to these platforms. Given how much younger consumers love things that are quick and catchy, businesses that want to target these groups must implement robust short-form video strategies.
So far, TikTok for Business has launched and will be expanding its paid promotion options in 2021. Now’s the time for your marketers to start getting familiar with these options if they haven’t already.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s simple to develop short-form videos that promote your brand. It takes creativity, research, and strategy to balance your branded messaging. There’s a seemingly carefree tone commonly associated with these videos.
8. E-Commerce Purchasing Capabilities Continue to Grow
In 2020, e-commerce witnessed phenomenal growth. Many new services adapted to the digital landscape, with purchasing options growing.
In 2021, e-commerce capabilities will continue to grow. Already, more gyms have started to provide digital sessions. There are more personal wellness consultations held over video conferencing platforms.
If your company has already started taking advantage of this rise in digital reliance, now’s the time to do so.
Stay on Top of Current Digital Marketing Trends to Grow Your Brand
Predicting consumer behaviors and interests in a quickly changing world can be difficult. Technology moves rapidly, and if you’re determined to keep your company competitive during these unpredictable times, you need to make it your business to learn the most current digital marketing trends.
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