9 Essential Digital Marketing Trends for 2021

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Digital marketing is an evolving space with growing innovation and new technology coming out of each facet of the industry. Whether it be changes in consumer and user behavior or new innovation in the software or hardware being used by professionals, new marketers always have new things to learn during their time in the industry. 

It can, of course, be extremely daunting for any marketer, let alone those that are trying to get their first job in marketing, to pick up on such nuanced changes in their space. Digital marketers may sometimes feel like they just picked up a skill and it’s already seemingly obsolete. Though, to get ahead of this learning curve, coming to current and up to date blogs like this really can help one stay relevant and knowledgeable as the trends and strategies change over time.

So, in this list, we will explore 9 digital marketing trends that will be essential for success in 2021 and beyond!

The Trends . . .

1. Featured Content & No Click Searches

Google’s “featured snippet” is a rising area to be aware of, and 2021 SEO marketing trends prioritize it above everything else. Google is always trying to improve their search engine and in how fast their users get the answers they are searching for. Snippets do just that in that they automatically provide an answer to your Google search without requiring you to click on a website. The highlighted snippet is significant since it is separated by a tiny box and is situated at the top of the page for all to see. More crucially, it presents information in an effort to answer the user’s inquiry without their clicking on it, earning it the moniker “no-click search.” Although it may seem counterintuitive to skip a single click/visit to your site, the recognition you receive exceeds a single website visit. 

If you want to target a highlighted snippet yourself it’s important to note that featured snippets are mostly used for long-tail keyword phrases like inquiries, step-by-step lists, and straight-up definitions. So, these are the types of searches you’ll want to target if you’re trying to get a snippet for your company.

2. Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is quickly finding its way into the digital marketing mix of enterprises. While this is not a new trend in 2021, it is one that more companies are experimenting with as entrance barriers are decreased and customers get more comfortable with the interactions. It serves as one of the top mediums for testing brand awareness and consumer reaction

This type of marketing fundamentally refers to the utilization of dialogues between businesses and customers to personalize each phase of the buyer experience. It often entails employing targeted, personalized messages in conjunction with chatbots to engage consumers via your website, social network marketing sites, and anyplace else where customers may be talking about the brand or business.

The success of such communications is undeniable, with message platform open rates exceeding 70%. Customer service is also getting more comfortable with supporting clients through conversational marketing, with research revealing that 54% of consumers would choose a chatbot over a human if it saved them time. Such services, whether they be text based or voice offering, are beginning to trailblaze in the marketing world. For industry professionals, these tools and strategies serve as the future, and in 2021, every new marketer will need to keep these in mind when learning new skills.

3. Personalized Content

Many organizations will strive to personalize experiences for each unique consumer with one goal in mind: conversions. As competition for client attention intensifies, each friction removed from the consumer’s decision path is a benefit. An online experience that focuses on providing you listings based on your interests and prior activity can shorten the route to buy and assist to enhance customer retention and loyalty.

When thinking about personalized content, industry giants are the best examples to use. For instance, Spotify offers a hand-picked selection of music and puts it in a compact playlist for their listeners. HBOMax and Netflix do the same for video. Such examples come handy when creating a strategic marketing plan for customers. A web experience that’s based on showing you postings reliant upon your tendencies and past activity will lessen the time spent to purchase and help with growing support and customer unwaveringly. The same goes for interactive content and material. 

4. Interactive Content

Whether it’s a poll, a quiz, a survey, or something else, interactive content is an attempt by marketers to break through the clutter of material. Marketers may use interactive content to keep their audience interested for longer periods of time and have a longer-term influence on their decision-making. It’s also a common way to collect email addresses from potential customers. Not only that, but such content will convey information to the reader in a more digestible way. Readers will not get bored or distracted when they are able to commit to the website through various questions or actions. 

Examples are far and wide when it comes to this user based content. In the video marketing area, Facebook has launched video poll advertisements, while YouTube recently introduced a new ad type that transforms video advertising into shoppable experiences for users. Any way a marketer can add interactive content to a website is going to both impress their company and create more traffic for the brand.

5. Marketing Automation

Marketers looking to break down the buyer’s journey and build an omnichannel marketing experience tend to use Marketing Automation in the later stages of their journey with the customer. This type of marketing generally involves interaction through automated email, content, social, push notifications, and retargeting. It also enables marketers to personalize the messages they send to clients and segment them based on prior behavior.

One important way marketing automation can come into play when it comes to attracting consumers is in the form of education. If a consumer who is one the fence regarding whether or not to buy a product receives occasional messaging regarding the success of the product, they will be more likely to buy. Reviews from other consumers could also be a positive way to entice an individual to give in and look over their options again with the specific company. 

As a digital marketer, it is important to inform and help direct consumers without sounding or acting pushy. Therefore, marketing automation should be used delicately and play a supporting role in a grand marketing strategy. Overall, it is how the marketer implements this tactic (as well as all of the others) that will ultimately benefit his or her company.

6. AI

Artificial intelligence is another growing concept that attempts to simplify a marketer’s job. Marketers will soon be able to hyper-personalize ads (even moreso than already), do in-depth persona analysis, and even utilize predictive scoring to forecast the future worth of your existing clients. This will assist marketers in smoothly creating an efficient foundation on which to build their marketing strategy, allowing teams to focus on satisfying the consumer rather than solely focusing on the technical side of strategy. 

AI will make a marketer’s life easier as long as they are confident in its implementation and execution. The process of implementing this tactic in a digital marketing plan will require some trial and error because the AI will have to calibrate to a specific company’s niche. The AI will have to learn which ads work and which don’t, so any marketer thinking of adding it to their strategy should beware of any and all actions the program completes. 

7. Google Bid Strategies

It will become increasingly more challenging to cut through the noise and get your message seen in a Smart Bidding digital marketing world where we are all optimizing for ROI. This is expected to continue a return to the significance of excellent creative that can stand out and grab the interest of your audience.

These days, Google Ads is much more than just keyword bidding. With the launch of Smart Bidding, advertisers may use Google’s machine learning to automate their bidding depending on their advertising goals. It then attempts to optimize toward a target by altering bids depending on a variety of user signals such as location, time of day, audience preferences, and device type.

To guarantee that performance objectives are met, the adoption of such technology places a higher focus on the quality of products and services as well as the usability of the website. It will be crucial for new marketers to learn this information for the future as companies will continue implementing new methods by Google as well as other growing alternatives!

8. Social Media

People may develop relationships with companies through social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok just to name a few. Social media increases brand visibility while also fostering attention along the buyer’s journey before selecting a specific firm. Social media can be an excellent tool for brand advocacy and, as such, should be one of the primary goals for every aspiring digital marketer.

This trend towards social is growing and new marketers must be aware of where customers are headed as new platforms become available (this year a big new one was Clubhouse). Millennials seem to continue buying through their favorite social media apps, so companies and marketers need to make sure they stay relevant with the times. The strategy could include paid ads, collaborations with popular talent, or even organic growth through a personalized business account. 

The possibilities are endless but they all require knowledge from the digital marketers regarding specific social media trends and fads. Making sure one stays up to date on these changes in consumer behavior as well as the constantly changing algorithms of the platforms your company is on will make all the difference in digital marketing strategy and implementation.

9. Influencer Marketing

Collaborations with popular talent is one of the most important and emerging trends that is taking shape in digital marketing. This and social media go hand in hand. When consumers go on their favorite social media app, they will see a creator they follow wearing a certain brand or using a certain product. If they have an interest in buying a similar product, it is much more likely for them to follow in the steps of someone they are aware of when it comes to choosing which brand. 

It must be a priority of digital marketers to implement this tactic in their strategy one way or the other. There are influencers everywhere, even off social media. Traditional media still garners views among much of today’s audience. Television stars, hosts, and commercial talent will also affect one’s digital marketing output positively. It is important to understand the specific demographic of the company to come up with the best and most pertinent influencer marketing strategy possible. It’s important not to get caught up with going after the biggest named people with the most followers. Your focus needs to be on who will give you the best ROI. Often times, nano and micro influencers actually work much better than the huge stars who are going to cost you a ton of money so make sure you always have ROI as your primary focus. 

Conclusion

Digital marketing is a growing space with newer innovation by the day. Technology acts as the fuel for this growth and will be used by every marketer. It is up to you to stay relevant and keep up with these trends by making sure that you refresh your skills continuously. Blogs like this will help guide you in your path and make certain you are ready for any job interview or application process. Remember, if you want to get trained, gain real world working experience in digital marketing, and get hired faster, you can do so through JobPrepped as 94.3% of JobPrepped students get marketing interviews or job offers within 3 weeks.  If you need any addtional free help from marketing hiring managers, feel free to reach out to joseph@jobprepped.com as we’ve helped 3,000+ grads get their first entry-level marketing job.

By Guest Writer,
Aditya Aggarwal

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Get the results you deserve! 94.3% of JobPrepped Students get marketing interviews or job offers within 3 weeks.

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