The Coronavirus pandemic has shaken up businesses from small to big, unknown to known, retail to technology, and such. Knowing the biggest trends in digital marketing in 2021 for your business might help you engage and retain customers, as well as generate more traffic, leads, and revenue.
Frank Landman, a freelance journalist who writes for Readwrite.com, enumerated some trends and these are the following,
“1. Live Video
Live video streaming has exploded over the past three years (and will continue to do so over the next decade). Powered by social media platforms, live streaming is available to the masses and provides an avenue for the continued democratization of the content. Just consider the following data points as curated by HubSpot:
Internet users watched approximately 1.1 billion hours of live video in 2019.
By 2027, the live video streaming market is expected to hit $184.3 billion.
By 2020, live streaming is expected to account for 82% of all internet traffic.
Those are significant numbers – too significant to ignore. And there are plenty of reasons why businesses are making the jump to live video, including:
There’s almost no learning curve to record live video. There’s no need for a script, props, or post-production. You hit the record button and push out live content. It’s casual, relaxed, and relatable.
There’s no requirement for advanced technology. While you can certainly enhance quality with some tech upgrades, a smartphone is all that’s needed to get started.
The live video feels exclusive and commands longer average view times when compared to pre-recorded videos. (There’s a sense of urgency from the viewer that they might not be able to see the content later.)
Live streaming video is used in a variety of capacities and is highly dependent on your brand, goals, and content strategy. However, it’s ideal for things like Q&As with an audience, customer support, special announcements, interviews with influencers, live events, and backstage events.
If you’re new to live video but want to get started, the best piece of advice is to jump in and do it. Try a couple of videos and see what happens. Were you comfortable? Did you enjoy it? Did the audience engage? What can you learn?
Your first shot at live streaming won’t be perfect, but you can always optimize over time.
2. Programmatic Advertising
Another sweeping trend is the growth of programmatic advertising. If paid traffic is part of your strategy for 2021, you need to gain some understanding and proficiency in this area.
As MarTech Advisor explains, “Programmatic advertising is the process of automating the buying and selling of ad inventory in real-time through an automated bidding system. Programmatic advertising enables brands or agencies to purchase ad impressions on publisher sites or apps within milliseconds through a sophisticated ecosystem.”
Over the past couple of years, programmatic advertising has become the preferred method of running ad campaigns. It offers real-time insights, enhanced targeting capabilities, increased transparency, better budget utilization, and provides a way to combat ad fraud effectively.
Programmatic advertising can be deployed in a variety of channels and formats, including display ads, video ads, social ads, audio ads, native ads, and digital out-of-home (DOOH) ads.
Contrary to how traditional media buying works, programmatic advertising doesn’t usually involve publishers and advertising working together in a one-to-one fashion. The type of programmatic deal – such as real-time bidding, private marketplaces, preferred deals, or programmatic guaranteed – determines how they’re delivered.
3. Voice Search
Would it surprise you to learn that approximately 27 percent of the online global population uses voice search on mobile? Or that more than 1 in 3 US internet users use a voice assistant monthly (up from just 9.5 percent in 2018).
Consider that by the end of 2020, roughly 30 percent of all internet browsing sessions will include voice search. And that more than half of adults use voice search on a semi-regular basis.
The writing is on the wall. Voice search will soon become the preferred method of browsing the internet. It’s faster, hands-free, and ultimately more convenient.
So what does that mean for digital marketing? Well, it changes everything, particularly on the content strategy side of things. People speak differently than they write. Consider, for example, someone searching for a pizza restaurant. Their queries might look like this:
Typed: pizza restaurant Bronx
Spoken: What’s the best pizza restaurant in the Bronx?
Voice search is ushering in a new age of SEO and content creation where long-tail keywords are the focus. Natural, conversational language wins the day. Brands that adapt to this style will see their SEO rankings improve and search traffic scale.
In terms of blogging strategy, brands should focus on developing content that answers questions. People go to Google when they have a question and the search engine knows this. So in an effort to satisfy their users, they’re elevating content that answers very specific questions.
4. Interactive Content
Online users are growing bored with basic blog posts and static content. They want to be stimulated. They also want control over their experiences. And these desires are currently culminating in the rise of interactive content.
Research shows that interactive content gains 2X more engagement than static content. This has led 34 percent of marketers to include interactive content in at least 10 percent of their strategies.
The most popular types of interactive content include quizzes, polls, interactive infographics, AR, VR, and online calculators.
Interactive content is typically just a subsegment of the larger content strategy. But in 2021 and beyond, it’s going to become an even bigger portion. While many brands are currently developing one piece of interactive content for every nine pieces of static content, that number will likely increase to 20 percent.
5. Shifts in Influencer Marketing
In 2016, the influencer marketing industry was worth an estimated $1.7 billion. By the end of this year, it’s projected to be worth somewhere north of $9.7 billion.
People like to hate on influencers, but they’re effective. The earned media value for money spent on influencer marketing was roughly $18 for every dollar spent in 2019. And over the last three years, there’s been a 1500% increase in brands searching for “influencer marketing” on Google. In other words, it’s effective and here to stay. But as we enter into 2021, this industry will undergo significant shifts that will ultimately change the way businesses approach marketing and advertising.
One of the biggest shifts will be the rise in micro-influencers. These are influencers who have small yet loyal followings (anything less than 10,000 followers). And what they lack in reach (compared to large influencers), they make up for with high engagement and affordability.
It’s also possible that we’ll see an increase in performance-based influencer marketing. In the past, it’s always been sort of a flat fee deal. Businesses pay per post and the influencer gets the same amount of money no matter what happens on the engagement front. But as the influencer arena gets more competitive, brands will gain more leverage. Soon, we could see payment based on the number of clicks, comments, or even sales.
Ultimately, the changes in this space will be dictated by consumers. Followers make it clear what they do and don’t respond to by the type of engagement they offer. As brands and influencers gather more data and analytics from these types of posts, they’ll iterate and zero in on what works best.”
An article from propelrr.com also identified 10 insights into foreseeable digital marketing trends in 2021:
1. Non-linear customer journeys are becoming more evident.
2. More efficient marketing automation.
3. Stronger need for voice search optimization.
4. The further use of mobile search.
5. The appearance of more Featured Snippets on SERP.
6. Using Shoppable posts on social media platforms.
7. AI-powered chatbots for better response management.
8. More appearances of ephemeral content on different platforms.
9. The use of more programmatic advertising.
10. Higher investment in YouTube advertising.
In addition, below are 9 top digital marketing trends for 2021 cited by Matt Ellis of 99designs.com:
2. Featured snippets & no-click searches
3. Sustainability: loud and proud
4. Ad-blocker blockers
5. Image and video SEO for visual searches
6. Interactive content
7. Customer segmentation
8. Local SEO
9. Oldies but goodies
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