Enterprises are reaching a pivotal stage in digital marketing where technology and creativity are merging at a rapid pace. Social media-based advertising is here to stay and that means working with influencers, creating captivating video, and learning how to analyze data. Consumers are increasingly self-isolating and not just because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but because technology allows them to. People are shopping online and using virtual voice assistance on a daily basis.
With so many digital shifts on the horizon, it is important to look into the future to anticipate marketing trends you can prepare for now. Here are the top 5 digital marketing trends that experts say we will be dealing with in 2021 and beyond.
Voice Search Marketing
The first voice devices that appeared in our lives were mostly used for listening to music or learning what the weather was going to be. Nowadays, more people are feeling comfortable with Alexa or Google in their home. They are asking them for a song and Alexa may tell them how to download the latest album of the specific artist. Voice devices nowadays are getting more information from you and giving even more back!
Clearly this is an opportunity since virtual assistant devices are collecting valuable consumer behaviors and preferences from past purchases and searches, meaning a campaign can be tailored and delivered around each individual’s preferences. The possibilities are endless, and digital marketers will always look for innovative methods to make their clients stand out. This one, in particular, is an excellent opportunity we can’t wait to dive deeper into!
Blockchain and Geo-Specification
Right now, one of the hottest trends of marketing on the rise is blockchain technology. It is quite impossible to state how it will pan out in 2021, but it is safe to say that right now it is a groundbreaking tech that is revolutionizing the digital landscape. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) along with machine learning is opening new avenues for blockchain masterminds today. As the perfection of the AIs increase, we can expect digital marketing to become more targeted and location specific.
Location-based marketing or geo-specific digital optimization has been on the rise steadily since 2015. The evolution of machine learning along with input from smartphone search trends shows us that localized businesses or regional brands are finding new markets.
Moving forward, it would be smart to focus on interactive content as opposed to traditional content. The user controls interactive content, controlling the experience and personalizing the content they consume. There are many examples of interactive content:
- Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR): AR and VR are taking over. More industries, from real estate to mobile gaming, are utilizing these tools.
- Shoppable Posts: Shoppable posts allow customers to shop at your store directly from a social media app.
- Polls and Quizzes: People love interaction, especially if you can create a poll or quiz that is fun and speaks to them.
Polished & Interactive Emails
Email still remains just as viable as ever—the ROI of email marketing as of February 2019 was 3,200%. However, other experts notice that the numbers are slowing or stagnating. Rather than abandoning this fruitful channel, digital marketers are reviving it with a new coat of paint.
Lately, we’re seeing a swift decline in plain-text emails and newsletters. In their place are gorgeous, pixel-perfect emails that look ripped from a web designer’s portfolio. Email marketing now and through 2021 utilizes emails that look and function like web pages—including clickable buttons and other interactions. These highly polished designs do more than just impress, they improve conversions. Readers are more likely to click stylized buttons with accompanying images than they are plain-text links.
But nowadays even using webpage-based email templates isn’t enough; you have to go the extra mile with stunning visuals and UX-centric designs. Considering ROI mentioned above, it’s worth making sure your emails are as engaging and beautiful as possible.
With the ongoing success of YouTube, Instagram Stories and Snapchat, video blogs are more popular than ever. As opposed to other video types like explainer videos or short films, vlogs are more personal and direct. Vloggers speak directly to the viewer, creating a more personal and direct connection—obviously a great boon to marketers trying to forge stronger relationships with their customers.
More than just complaining about how the barista screwed up your order, vlogs can also be practical and strategic. You can live-stream special events that not everyone has access to, like a business conference or a musical concert. You can also post other homegrown content your customers would want to see anyway, such as celebrity interviews or behind-the-scenes looks. As video marketing continues to rise, we’ll likely see more subcategories like vlogs emerge. Learning to differentiate your video content now will help for accommodating future trends.
With all of these trends, you still need the digital marketing materials to go with them. Designing the interactive emails, setting up video production, making graphics for social media posts. It all has to come from somewhere. Many are turning to companies like Flocksy to meet their digital marketing needs. Flocksy offers web development, graphic design, copywriting, and video production, with more offerings becoming available soon. For a low, flat, monthly rate you can create an unlimited number of projects. And often, they are finished within 24 hours. That’s good for keeping pace with the speed of marketing trends nowadays.
The upcoming 2021 digital marketing trends are, paradoxically, both more human and more mechanical. It seems the general pull of digital marketing goes in the direction of more personal relationships with more targeted niches, but the means of making those connections rely on automation and new technology. The heart of digital marketing remains the same—getting people what they want, when and where they want it—and 2021 technology is just opening new doors to get there.