17 Digital Marketing Trends To Keep Up With In 2021
If you want to know what to incorporate into this year’s marketing strategies, then check out our list of 17 of the top digital marketing trends that will boost your brand awareness and explode your sales.
Over the past few years, things have changed, and the online marketing strategies that may have worked perfectly last year may not be effective going into the next year. Whatever got you to this point in your internet marketing business will not be sufficient to get you to the next level.
As an entrepreneur, your job is to keep up with these changes to ensure that you are always moving toward your goals in the most effective way.
Your ability to create leads these days comes down to being able to build trust and intimacy with the people who need you most, and then to convince them that you are the most relevant choice.
It is absolutely essential that you become omnipresent and that you remain at the top of their mind. You can easily do this by paying attention to some of these key digital marketing trends:
1. You Need to Stay Relevant
If you want to win the war, you can’t just be all about collecting email addresses and leads. In the old days, those with the biggest lists dominated their niches, but today things have changed. Customers now want greater relevance and intimacy.
If you want greater profits this year, you have to focus on building more intimate relationships and becoming more relevant to the leads that you already have.
2. Attention is the New Currency
If you don’t want to spend huge amounts of money on online marketing then you have to be able to capture the attention of your ideal audience.
It’s the only way you’ll be able to compete without having to shell out tons of cash on advertising.
As more businesses are finding easier access to attention, it’s getting more and more expensive.
This means that you have to make the most of whatever attention you manage to capture. People are drowning in messages, but not getting enough of significance.
This is where the opportunity lies.
As soon as you get their attention, you’ll have their loyalty and their wallet.
It isn’t about spreading your marketing as far as you can, but about spreading it to the ideal audience at the right time, then making the most of that attention the instant you capture it.
3. Be Omnipresent
This isn’t about seeming to be everywhere to everyone (that would be pointless and expensive), but it’s about appearing in front of the leads that are most relevant to you, and to whom you are most relevant in return.
This combination of relevance and omnipresence is a specific skill which, if you master it, will lead to you being top of mind and ensure that your audience knows, trusts, and likes you.
4. Have More Than One Platform
Dominating one platform is no longer enough. Your leads on YouTube are not on Facebook, and the ones on Facebook aren’t the same ones who are reading your blog.
This means that the key to succeeding here is to re-purpose your content across various (relevant) platforms.
While this was time-consuming and costly in the past, these days it’s so easy to take a video and re-purpose it into an in-depth article, a blog post, a podcast episode, and other additional resources.
5. Marketing Funnels Have Evolved
It’s no longer a good idea to build one marketing funnel that takes everyone through a single step-by-step process. Your audience is onto you.
They’ve done this a dozen times already in other marketing funnels that they’ve been in.
You have to stand out by turning your marketing funnel into a wonderful experience for your audience and building real trust with them.
No more scarcity and countdown timers. Those don’t really work anymore.
What you need to do instead is to provide your audience with lots of relevant content at the ideal time. You must be aware of their current level of engagement and awareness.
Doing this is the only way you’ll be able to build their trust.
6. Focus on Invisible ROI
Don’t just look at what you’re spending on lead generation and sales.
If you want to see real success, you have to focus a large part of your ad spend on brand awareness. Yes, creating leads is important, but you also have to nurture your audience and not just sell to them all the time.
If you want to become top of mind, you do it over time, not just by forcing endless sales messages on your audience.
Building trust takes time, but it’s worth it in the end when you become their go-to expert for everything they need.
Focusing only on generating leads will cause your ad spend to continue to rise and your conversions to keep going down.
7. Create Personalized Content
One of the top content marketing trends for this year is to deliver highly personalized messages.
This is not just about those ‘hello [[first name]]’ messages. These days you have advanced marketing automation platforms that you can use to create relevant and timely content based on the history and behavior of your customers.
8. Privacy Protection
While a personalized approach is great and yields amazing results for businesses, the flip side is that it raises a lot of privacy concerns, as proven by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) from the EU which recently came into force.
These days customers want more transparency when it comes to the handling of their personal data.
The companies who respond to this trend will have an advantage in the competitive field. Soon, privacy protection will become one of the core selling points.
9. Video Content is on the Rise
Almost 80 percent of consumers would rather learn about a product from watching a video than from reading text on a page, and just as many have been convinced to make purchases after watching a brand’s video.
More people are embracing video content today than ever before. Facebook prioritizes video content in their feed and LinkedIn is also adopting the same approach.
The number of Instagram Stories viewers has exceeded Snapchat users. The figures don’t lie, and this is your chance to embrace this trend, too.
Also, these users are willing to consume the content in various formats and that’s where video marketing comes in. Experts predict that mobile live video, which is among the top online marketing trends this year, will explode 30-fold by 2021.
10. Influencer Marketing Still Works
Influencer marketing doesn’t show any signs of declining.
A quick Google Trends search will show you the evidence of this. But, in order to make the most of this marketing trend, you need to remember a couple of things.
When it comes to finding and collaborating with opinion leaders, it’s vital to measure the influencer marketing ROI.
Also, in opinion-driven marketing, video content is more effective than content that is text-based.
And remember, you must comply with legislation. In this and the coming years, we can expect a lot more lawsuits against paid endorsements that were not disclosed.
11. Artificial Intelligence
A lot of companies have been leveraging AI for their marketing lately, and it’s about time you started giving it some thought as well.
Pinterest has added visual search to the Chrome browser extension.
They introduced this image recognition because it will help to facilitate the connection between store visits and online content.
Those in the know believe that AI will play a huge role in digital marketing for the coming year and that it will shape how marketing technologies look as well as set the direction for innovative features in marketing tools.
Start looking around for solutions that intuitively segment your marketing actions and personalize them in terms of quantity, content, and timing.
12. Internet of Things and Marketing
Gathering and analyzing customer data is a huge challenge for most marketers.
The sheer amount of data online is staggering, and it’s only going to grow in the future. One of the main competitive edges for brands is providing customers with personalized experiences that are based on the multi-channel data.
If you’ve been struggling to systematically gather customer data the good news is that with the advent of IoT, customers will have many more opportunities to leave digital footprints because more devices will be synced.
This integration of many devices is already happening and serves to make gathering data much easier.
An example of this is Uber teaming up with music streaming services such as Pandora to let passengers pick the song they want to hear before they even get in the car.
13. Mobile Payments
The rapid growth of mobile device use has unlocked the potential for mobile payments.
There’s a growing popularity of mobile payments in online stores. More and more businesses are introducing mobile payment options such as ApplePay and Alipay which are the two main providers.
Mobile payment penetration is set to shake up the world and you should start looking to provide mobile payment options right away.
14. Monetize short-lived content
The idea of short-lived content (which is also known as ephemeral content) isn’t a new one in digital marketing. But, now marketers have a way of using it to their advantage.
From 2018 onward, apart from boosting brand engagement, marketers can now send users directly to their sites or landing pages just by including the link to Instagram Stories.
Clicking the ‘See More’ button will lead them straight to your website.
15. Focus on Generation Z
Gen Z is expected to make up about 40% of all consumers by the time 2020 rolls around.
That’s huge and makes for a powerful customer category. As a marketer, you should keep in mind that the purchasing behavior of Gen-Zers is vastly different from that of their predecessors, Gen Y or the millennials.
Generation Z tends to have a mobile-first mindset and they spend a lot longer on their phones every day than they do on all other devices combined.
Focusing on Gen Z is a marketing trend that you really have to get behind. And maybe start investing in mobile app development.
16. Cross-Device Marketing
A study showed that over 40 percent of post-click transactions from desktop come from a different device. The days of using the same device for chatting with your friends, making online purchases, and catching up on the news are long gone.
In this new age of cross-device customer behaviors, you need to ensure that you provide an online experience that is consistent across various devices and screen sizes.
It’s time to think about whether your newsletters are displayed the right way on all screens and if your website looks nice on all devices, whether it’s a smart TV or an iPhone.
17. Landing Page CRO
You need to be ahead of the curve when it comes to Conversion Rate Optimization.
Wordstream experts estimate that only about 22 percent of all businesses are actually satisfied with their conversion rates.
In this and coming years, businesses are more likely to put more money into split-tests of software and landing pages in order to optimize and achieve higher conversion rates.
If yours is one of those businesses that need to improve their landing page CRO, then now is the time for you to get started doing so.
Now that you know the key digital marketing trends that you should be keeping up with, it’s time to take action and apply these trends to your marketing efforts.
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Updated: Originally published June 8th 2018