4 Major Digital Marketing Trends to follow in 2021
As the world becomes more technologically advanced, trends in digital marketing have become an essential priority for companies. This article therefore will explore 4 major trends companies must acknowledge, and act upon in 2021.
1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is quickly becoming one of the most intriguing and influential advancements in technology in recent years. A question you therefore may wonder is what exactly is Artificial Intelligence?
What is Artificial Intelligence?
A simple description of Artificial intelligence and its capabilities is found on the website of IBM, an American Multinational Technology Company:
“Artificial intelligence enables computers and machines to mimic the perception, learning, problem-solving, and decision-making capabilities of the human mind.”(IBM, 2020)
Essentially, Artificial Intelligence is technology that attempts to mimic a human’s response to a given situation, based on the data it is being fed. More and more industries are noticing AI’s massive potential, especially in Digital Marketing.
AI’s impact on Digital Marketing
Marketers were initially hesitant to capitalise on AI technology due to its complicated and potentially unreliable nature. However, the success of companies such as Spotify and Amazon has led to an increase in its use within Digital Marketing.
For example, Customer Relationship Management is a critical component for any large organisation. CRM involves collecting customer data and separating the relevant information from the rest. AI has made it much simpler to predict user behaviour and needs. When combined with CRM, it allows for a more efficient and reliable collection of customer data, thus enhancing their customer relationships. This type of integration can not be overlooked from a digital marketing standpoint.
Chatbots are another feature that has been greatly improved by Artificial Intelligence technology. They are primarily used in messenger apps to help customers resolve any problems they have. Chatbots are a great way to increase conversion rates and boost customer satisfaction. With an effective and accurate response rate, chatbots will become one of the most important tools in digital marketing in the near future.
2. Video Marketing
Video Marketing has become one of the most important trends in digital marketing, and it is likely to continue for the next 10 years. Videos are easy to digest, and if done right, will give the audience an entertaining or informative feature to learn more about a company. To illustrate, the statistics below highlight its importance
- 70% of consumers have shared a company’s videos
- 72% of companies attribute video marketing to an improved conversion rate
- 52% of responding consumers say they are more confident in making online purchases after watching videos of a product (Haughey, 2020)
4 Types of Video for Digital Marketing
- Educational Videos – These videos are self-explanatory. Their purpose is to educate the viewer on something new, in an entertaining and compelling way. They can help build trust between the customer and the company. As is often the case, the company will be offering expert information in an informative way.
- Company Culture Videos – Companies will use these videos to highlight their values and personality. They are important for building strong and trustworthy relationships with their consumers. They can also be vital in recruiting employees as they attempt to give an insight into what it is like working for the company.
- Product Videos – These videos are specifically made to demonstrate a products appealing features and to get consumers interested in purchasing it. Today, a lot of this marketing is done through influencers and celebrities. They are more appealing to the general public and can be seen as more trustworthy than many of the large multinational corporations that sell these products.
- Testimonial Videos – A testimonial video is a marketing strategy whereby customers and/or employees speak highly of a company or its products. These videos can help to create a positive perception of the company. The idea is that people are more likely to purchase your product or show an interest in your brand if they hear customers and employees praising it.
3. Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel & Digital Marketing
Omnichannel Marketing was one of the most influential trends in digital marketing in 2020. Accordingly, this trend will continue as more companies begin to understand its significance. Omnichannel Marketing is the practice of using multiple platforms, such as emails, blogs, social media etc., to create a simple and satisfying experience for the customer. It places the customer at the centre of a marketing strategy. When done right, it can offer customers an enhanced user experience. However, many marketers confuse this strategy of marketing with multichannel marketing, which is certainly not the case.
Multichannel vs Omnichannel Marketing
The biggest difference between multichannel marketing and omnichannel marketing is how central a customer is to a company’s marketing strategy.
Multichannel marketing involves using multiple channels to market to customers using the same generic message. While it’s similar in that it uses multiple platforms, it differs in how it views the customer as a part of the marketing strategy. Multichannel puts the brand at the centre of the marketing strategy, by sending the same messages to all customers on all channels. While the message may be relevant to the majority of customers, it lacks the personalisation to create trust and loyalty with customers.
On the other hand, Omnichannel Marketing is primarily concerned with the customer’s experience. Unlike Multichannel, the customer will receive unique and personalised messages based on the customer’s previous interaction with other channels. The message sent to customers will be much more appropriate to their needs and wants. The channel chosen will also be much more relevant to where the customer is in their customer journey. This ultimately improves the customer journey experience. The result of this will increase sales and boost customer retention. Satisfied customers are also more likely to share their positive customer journey experience. This cycle will continue to repeat itself with an effective Omnichannel Marketing strategy.
4. Interactive Marketing
2020 saw a major shift from traditional text-based marketing content to a more engaging and dynamic form of marketing that is interactive. Unlike previous marketing strategies, interactive marketing creates a 2-way dialogue with interactive content that customers can click on, swipe, or interact with online.
Advantages of Interactive Marketing
The cost of Interactive Marketing is significantly less than most traditional methods of marketing. Furthermore, there is a greater reach with interactive marketing. Consequently, this makes it a cheaper and more efficient alternative to traditional methods such as Tv, Radio, or Newspaper advertising.
Interactive Marketing also gives a company more relevant information regarding customers’ needs and wants. For instance, customers’ online behaviour can be collected and analysed with reliable precision. Companies will use this data for future marketing purposes, by establishing what the consumer is looking for.
Types of Interactive Marketing
Quizzes & Polls – These are becoming increasingly common in the age of Social Media. Companies such as Instagram and Twitter allow for the simple creation of quizzes and polls that are immediately accessible and are effortless to take part in. Consumers enjoy this type of memorable, fun content that allows them to interact with brands. They feel more connected to the company, which helps nurture a healthy relationship between customer and company. Additionally, they can be a very useful tactic to collect data and information on customers. This in turn will enable the company to offer more relevant products and services based on consumer preferences.
Contests & Giveaways – People love the chance to get something for free, especially if they are chosen ahead of others. This makes contests and prize-giveaway competitions a perfect strategy to increase brand awareness and interactions with the company. Today, many companies will offer the chance to win big prizes if entrants follow and share the company’s social media page. This often results in huge amounts of shares and follows in return for a free gift for one of the entrants who took part.
Email Marketing – Emails are an instantaneous form of communication that is free to use. This makes it a perfect medium to interact with consumers. One way to incorporate an interactive feature in emails is through the use of GIFs attached to emails sent out. A more effective strategy would be to include brand videos or attach a link directing the customer to your website. When done appropriately and effectively, this can drive large amounts of traffic to your website and grow your audience.
Conclusion on Digital Marketing Trends
In conclusion, digital marketing has become hugely significant in the digital era. As humans become more technologically inclined, trends in digital marketing are becoming increasingly influential for companies. Not only are there many benefits to employing a digital marketing strategy, but there is also a concern that traditional marketing is a slowly dying concept. This is why it is critical for companies to embrace these changes, or risk being left behind by their competitors. While there are many trends in digital marketing that companies should observe, the 4 most prominent trends facing digital marketing specialists are mentioned above. Accordingly, most companies are investing in their digital marketing strategy to ensure they remain competitive in their given industries.
Ceros Resources. 2019. Interactive Content Marketing: A Beginner’s Guide – Ceros Resources. [online] Available at: <https://www.ceros.com/resources/interactive-content-marketing-beginners-guide/> [Accessed 6 April 2021].
Haughey, C., 2020. 10 Trends in Digital Marketing in 2020. [Blog] Digital Marketing Institute, Available at: <https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/10-trends-in-digital-marketing-in-2020> [Accessed 29 March 2021].
IBM Cloud Education, 2020. What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?. [online] Ibm.com. Available at: <https://www.ibm.com/cloud/learn/what-is-artificial-intelligence> [Accessed 22 March 2021].