Digital marketing has always been a great way to reach out to customers, and the pandemic has brought it to the center stage altogether. Digital marketing trends have constantly evolved over the past several years based on user behavior. The pandemic phase had people spending most of their time on digital platforms. This has changed the way they create, consume and engage with digital content. With more people coming forward as content creators on social platforms, businesses are also seeing a significant shift in their digital marketing approaches.
From creating topical content, engaging in meme banter to roasting competitors. Businesses all around the world are finding new ways to improve customer engagement and stay relevant with the changing trends.
Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends in 2021
Are you a business owner looking to grow your business through digital marketing,? Here are the top 10 Digital Marketing Trends that you can look out for:
In a time where most people were at home due to the pandemic, live streaming has helped them enjoy everything they love virtually. From concerts, online workshops, virtual parties to weddings, live streaming has given people ‘in-the-moment’ experience that they have been craving for.
The popularity of live-streaming is not limited just to visual content. Podcasts and other forms of audio-contents too have been well received by people.
2. Influencer marketing
We have lived past the phase where advertisements were enough to convince buyers to purchase the product. The customers have evolved into more intellectual buyers. They do deep analysis about the product and seek recommendations from real people before making a purchase. This has given rise to the trend of Influencer marketing. It’s a trend where online content creators become influencers to promote brands and products on social platforms.
Influencers help to build trust in the brand or product and are seen as the latest digital marketing trend for businesses worldwide.
3. Goodwill driven missions
It’s easier for us to trust a person who can be seen doing good things. The same applies to brands as well. We instantly trust a brand that goes out of its way to be a good samaritan and help a person or another business in distress. The pandemic hit all of us and it hit hard. Several brands came forward in such times to support people who lost their jobs, delivery partners, and even rival businesses.
Burger King and McDonald’s are rivals for decades. But during the pandemic, Burger King gave its usual rival roasting a break and asked its customers to visit McDonald’s. The motive was to help McDonald’s employees so that they do not have to suffer job losses. This digital marketing approach was a huge hit and got Burger King a lot of appreciation.
4. User-Generated Content
User feedback and testimonials in digital marketing have a huge potential in creating a brand trust for existing and future customers. Users creating content about a brand or a product help brands build a connection with customers directly. It also helps in building and strengthening communities and meeting customers where they are already hanging out.
For customers, it provides proof about the effectiveness of the product and helps in their buying decision.
5. Emphasis on sustainability
If at random, a person is asked which brand they trust more, the one which is working towards improving the environment or the one that doesn’t. There is a 90% chance the person will pick the former brand. This is the reason many brands are openly declaring the initiatives that they are taking to contribute to a better and safer environment.
LEGO, a toy company rooted in plastic products, LEGO is aiming toward a more sustainable future for their company and its blocks and has pledged on an initiative to reduce carbon footprints. As part of this initiative, 100% of the energy used to create the bricks comes from renewable wind power.
6. Inclusivity will be key
As a brand, it should be a prime focus to ensure that all their digital marketing campaigns and ads carry the element of inclusivity for all communities, religions, colors, and races. The recent ‘BlackLivesMatters’ movement in 2020 has made inclusivity a focus for most social media and ad media content.
Consumers now have changed their buying behavior towards brands that do not reflect inclusivity and up to 29% of consumers have shifted their brand preference because their favorite brand did not show inclusivity to a particular community.
7. Increase in voice and visual search
Voice search is a trend that is not just limited to millennials. It is evident from the fact that in 2020, voice assistants have found more than 4.2 billion users worldwide. This fact reflects the need for business owners to put out more and more content that is voice search-friendly and sounds more human. Using shorter ‘query’ like phrases and keywords can assure that your content gets the attention it deserves.
Voice search can be considered as the newest addition to digital marketing trends and is a thing to consider for your 2021 marketing strategy.
8. Dark Social Marketing
Dark Social Marketing is the term used for social marketing through private messaging channels. In recent times, people’s engagements on social media platforms have dropped. Especially when engaging with influencers or individuals or sharing social media content with their network, people prefer not to make their conversations public. This is the reason dark social media platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Snapchats are gaining popularity.
WhatsApp has particularly become quite popular among businesses and has allowed brands to come closer to their customers through personal messaging. WhatsApp marketing allows businesses to understand their customers better and provide supreme customer care services and customer experience. WhatsApp marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing tools in today’s time.
9. More interactive content
Well-written content can be an excellent way for your audience to know about you. But it’s equally crucial for you to keep your audiences engaged with fun and engaging activities. A great way to do that is by making your content interactive. For long-form content such as blogs or articles, adding interactive widgets to entertain your readers can be a great way to hold them on your page.
For platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or LinkedIn, playing puzzles, games, polls, contests, giveaways, or posting open-ended questions can help you get higher engagement from your audience. It can also help you stand out in search algorithms and result in a better ranking in feeds and searches.
One recent example is that of Twitter that asked users on its platform to ‘Roast 2020’
10. Reverse marketing
Sharing positive user feedback and reviews helps brands gain trust and publicity for themselves. But some brands are using reverse marketing by sharing negative reviews about themselves which creates a huge buzz.
One such example is KFC, a renowned fast-food chain known for its crispy and juicy fried chicken. But when it comes to their french fries, it’s something that has got a lot of negative reviews from its customers. Rather than shying away from it, the brand took it to the next level by sharing all the negative reviews all over the city. This move got huge media attention and a lot of people shared the pictures on social media tagging KFC. For any brand, it could be quite damaging for the brand image. But KFC saw an opportunity in it. It openly accepted that its french fries were not up to the mark, they have fixed it by introducing a new variety of french fries which are crispier and more delicious than ever.
Though it was a bit risky move, it did give KFC one of the biggest promotions that too for free and managed to earn back its positive brand image.
Summing it up, digital marketing trends are constantly evolving. But by staying updated with the latest digital marketing trends and techniques and figuring out which one is best for you, you can give your business the growth it needs.