Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021

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2021 is just around the corner, which means businesses need to start thinking about their marketing strategies for the new year. The current year was dealt with unprecedented changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses realized the immense importance of online presence, as well as digital marketing, to reach audiences when they lack a physical presence. Besides, the mandatory changes required by the Covid-19 situation created a new phase of business marketing, which will also showcase its effect during the upcoming year. 

However, this time, the businesses should be better prepared for challenges by staying ahead of the trends.

In this guide, we will present 5 expected digital marketing trends of 2021. Plus, we will make recommendations for each trend to help business owners understand how they should utilize the trends.

1. Short Videos

With the introduction of curfew in different parts of the world, people started staying at home more than ever. Sure, this requirement made many people bored, and they discovered new ways of entertainment. One of such applications was TikTok, which experienced an explosion in user numbers all around the world during the pandemic. Snapchat also made some changes to the application to increase the engagement level and stay competitive. Instagram, in turn, entered this market and introduced Instagram Reels. 

In 2021, short videos as one of the multimedia elements will keep increasing its importance and gain more attention. Hence, businesses should consider giving priority to this digital marketing strategy.

Recommendations: To keep up with the trends, brands can create social media accounts on social media platforms to share business-related short videos. As Gen Z heavily uses these platforms, it will also help businesses get young people’s attention. However, issues like the proposed TikTok ban should be considered. Avoiding such threats can be possible through diversifying strategies. For example, instead of focusing on one platform, it is advisable to share short-videos in all possible accounts, like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Besides, more and more people do online shopping, hence sharing short videos of the products on the website can convince interested buyers to purchase the goods. 

2. Voice Search

It is not surprising that voice search is the digital marketing trend of 2021. During 2020, we talked a lot about the growing importance of voice search. However, many businesses still ignore the need for voice search optimization. With the introduction and growing demand for voice-activated devices such as Alexa or Google Home, people started making more queries using voice search. Currently, around 40 million Americans own such gadgets, and it is expected that half of the searches will be conducted by voice. This way of doing a search is easier than typing, and people can do it without hands-free. For all these reasons, it is time for all businesses to integrate this trend into business operations.

Recommendations: a part of the search engine optimization focused on optimizing for voice search. It makes necessary adjustments, so the related websites will appear on top search results when users utilize voice search. For instance, one of the differences between text and voice optimization is using longer keywords. People use only a few words when they make a query in the text while asking full questions in voice search. Hence, it is better to reconsider the SEO efforts. Also, businesses should keep their Google My Business accounts updated because voice searches tend to favor businesses with active GMB presence.

3. User Privacy

Privacy is one of the main concerns in data marketing. Some policies were implemented in this sphere to protect consumers, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This act created barriers for companies to target shoppers easily in California. As a result, Facebook faced limitations in targeting, which influenced their advertising strategies and Return on Investment negatively. It should come as no surprise that in the future, there will be more acts and policies accepted that will intervene in the data collection and utilization process. The main reason behind this digital marketing change is that privacy is a major issue almost in all parts of the world. Current researches indicate that more than 70% of people think that third-parties know too much about them, while 86% are worried about privacy. 

It should also be considered that Apple announced its iOS 14 operating system, which will enable users to stop the collection of data in the background. It is expected that this system will be released in 2021. 

Recommendations: as a business owner, you need to make sure that your business is ready to tackle the challenges with data privacy. First, it is necessary to follow digital marketing news to identify any changes or expected developments on time. Second, business managers can discuss this issue with the marketing automation representatives. This discussion is essential to find out how the changes can affect business operations. Lastly, your consumers should be aware of your business’s extensive focus on protecting data and addressing concerns in this matter.

4. Personalization

It can be contrary to the previously mentioned digital marketing trend-data privacy, but another expecting trend is the increasing demand for personalization. While customers are worried about data collection, which aims to provide customized suggestions, they also want to only deal with personalized strategies. A huge portion of the customers are complaining about mass mails and do not prefer any generic suggestions. They want to be offered customized ideas based on their preferences and characteristics. Hence, personalization has the utmost importance. 

Recommendations: creating personalized messages with the help of copywriters and designers can be one solution. Email marketing with customized suggestions can definitely catch the attention of some customers. Meanwhile, a more sophisticated strategy can be utilizing machine learning, which can create the best messages by analyzing emotions and language used.

5. Micro-Influencers

Influencer marketing has been around for several years. Many brands made agreements with the macro-influencers, and in turn, they made posts related to the brands. Macro-influencers had huge fame in digital marketing, so they demanded a high budget for the sponsorships. However, companies came to realize that compared to micro-influencers, posts of macro-influencers generated lower returns. First, people became suspicious and lost trust in famous people who constantly promote brands. Second, micro-influencers have more homogenous followers sharing interests with the influencer and actively engaging. It should also be noted that micro-influencers are the ones having between 10000 to 100000 followers. A Markerly study also supported this idea and found out that this influencer type achieves the most engagement.

Micro-influencers will be the major focus area in digital marketing strategies in 2021. Besides dominating macro-influencer strategies, this trend will outgrow even traditional marketing channels such as emails. That is another reason why you should consider getting micro-influencers on your side as quickly as possible.

Recommendations: Businesses should find influencers who are relatable to their offerings. For instance, a local business will be better off by finding someone living in the same geographical location and has an impact on others’ decisions. Here, the requirement for an influencer should not be a huge level of fame. Instead, the return from the marketing activities should be evaluated constantly. 

Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021