The digital marketing space is moving so fast now that marketers must look at what’s trending this year to provide clues about how to proceed. Otherwise, there’s the risk of investing time and capital behind the wrong ideas.
Here are the significant digital marketing trends of 2021 worth considering.
Increasing Adoption of AI
Artificial intelligence is being utilized in many areas of everyday life, and the digital marketing space is no different. One example of this is chatbots on websites to engage with customers in a meaningful way using the power of natural language processing to understand and respond appropriately. Using this type of tool can help to promote products and answer commonly answer questions, leaving customer service staff free to handle emails and other time-consuming tasks.
Money is also being made through Ezoic, which uses AI to choose which ads and what sizes to show on publishers’ websites. By doing so, digital marketing efforts are improved with a form of passive income superior to what Google AdSense provides.
Sites are also being personalized based on information gathered and acted upon by AI. Different promotions may be shown depending on the visitor’s demographics, location, or time of day. This is better for the user and more profitable for the brand too.
Mobile Voice Queries on the Rise
Web users are increasingly using voice searches to look up information quickly. And this is not only to receive driving directions either. Often, people are busy with other tasks but can ask a question in the meantime and make a decision based on the information received. This includes tracking down local hotels, checking on train times, or locating the nearest store of a favored retailer.
Companies can take advantage of this by targeting more voice-friendly search terms that include “near me” and other common phrases. Also, adding snippets in an article that provide an answer for voice searchers may be picked up by Google and used as an information source.
Dominating Personalized Marketing Using Existing Data
Companies are beginning to match their customer data with secondary sources to improve how they market to them. For instance, Starbucks used a mobile app with gaming elements to encourage user interaction. They combined what they knew about the customer’s location and past purchases to customize what was offered through their rewards system. Customers could personalize the drinks from the brand, and not be stuck with a more limited range of options. The result was an increase in adoption and boosted revenue.
While not everyone wants companies to know everything about them, most people are getting used to their demographic information from Facebook or elsewhere, as well as past purchases, being used to personalize their experience. In a world where consumers wish to personalize every decision point, this trend is only likely to grow.
Video Marketing Continues to Open Up New Markets
While the written word still holds sway to convey different types of information effectively, video is increasingly being used either as a standalone marketing medium or to augment the written word.
Videos from Brands Hold Considerable Appeal
Videos from brands are being shared by consumers on relevant social platforms in related groups and to friends. Product review videos have the power to be persuasive for potential buyers on the fence, but they also provide information beyond that. Particularly on products where the physical dimensions are a factor, being able to visualize the product in different situations is clarifying.
Also, watching unboxing videos, demonstrations, and other uses of video marketing increases the likelihood of getting a subsequent sale (and boosting customer satisfaction rates too).
Shorter Videos Gaining Ground
YouTube Shorts have been growing quickly since their release. These are portrait-oriented short video clips that tease information out and can link to affiliate promotions or longer videos. Up to a maximum of 60 seconds, this newer video format captures the attention of video and social media users with limited time or attention spans.
User Search Through Imagery
Users are increasingly wanting to search for items based on a photo of the item. This could be a photo in a magazine, from a tablet screen, or when they’re browsing a store. Google Images has the option to upload an image to see if the search engine can match it to anything.
Pinterest has Lens, a new approach where users take a snap, and the image search engine will track it down. Lens provides shopping information for online purchases, compares the product to similar ones, and shows any relevant Pinterest pinboards with the photo too.
CamFind is another interesting app. It lets users take a photo of an object and using the CloudSight Image Recognition API, tracks it down on the web. The app is now available on iPhone and Android devices.
Digital marketers need to look carefully at how they can attract likely buyers by adapting or adopting various technologies to do so. The web is broadening out and marketers need to see how they can fit into that.