As this train-wreck of a year (2020) is coming to an end, it has created important implications about digital marketing trends for the future.
This article will cover five key digital marketing trends that you must be aware of to succeed in 2021 and beyond.
If you prefer watching videos, a breakdown of all the trends can be found in this video.
Digital marketing is continuing to evolve with many new trends emerging, as well as old ones that are being treated with more importance than ever.
With the new year quickly approaching, here are some of the top digital marketing trends for 2021.
What Are the Digital Marketing Trends For 2021?
As online shopping continues to rise, the most obvious digital marketing trend that will grow significantly in 2021 is e-commerce.
Social media marketing is also experiencing explosive growth, while content marketing, SEO, in particular, and viral marketing are key trends that will become more prominent in 2021.
Let’s break these trends down, and learn more about how you can fully leverage them to boost your online presence and gain advantage in the digital world, in 2021.
Being able to shop online is not a novel phenomenon, however, the coronavirus pandemic has taught us exactly why eCommerce is absolutely fundamental to any business (if they wish to stay afloat).
It’s thought that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be made via eCommerce.
Sure, that statistic may seem far-fetched, but we’ve already seen the boom of online shopping during Covid-19, and this will definitely continue to rise moving forward.
Many businesses that were not able to transition fully towards eCommerce have shut down, which highlights the urgency of enabling online shopping for your customers.
This is because a lack of convenience and accessibility will lead your customers to shop elsewhere.
2. Social media marketing
With so many social media platforms out there, it’s important to know how to market to your customers effectively.
Getting the right message across to your audience and getting them to convert isn’t an easy task.
However, it’s important to acknowledge the saturation of social media content and the need for niche/effective targeting.
The key for social media marketing is to identify where your customers are, and what content they are most likely to engage with.
The best course of action to take is to delve in various social media platforms and see which ones are the most popular amongst your target audience.
Remember to involve your audience constantly, and focus on getting your targeting right.
Social media marketing nowadays is all about trust, and ensuring that customers trust you more than other brands.
3. Content marketing
The two major content types to focus on for 2021 and beyond are:
It’s no secret that voice search is on the rise, with the increased usage of smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
It provides the perfect opportunity to dig deeper in your content and write comprehensive content that covers long-tail queries.
Moving on to video… there’s a lot to mention.
Video is and will continuously be dominating the web, which is why you must be investing in producing video content.
Not only is video a highly preferred option of content consumption, it can also be used in various ways, such as helping with your link building.
Live streaming is a key trend nowadays, with various social media platforms prominently displaying live videos.
The best platforms to go live right now on are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (if you can obtain live access), and YouTube.
For a video strategy to work well, you must already have mapped out how video will help add value to your current assets, be it on your website, or generally within your processes.
Remember that your videos should be recycled, meaning that having a video uploaded on YouTube could be embedded onto a relevant page on your website, but also consider rendering short snippets that you can then upload natively on other social media platforms.
Recycling video content will massively increase your engagement and the possibility of generating more leads.
When it comes to content marketing overall, knowing how to repurpose content will help you maximise your traffic.
SEO has and will continue to be incredibly important as part of a digital marketing strategy in 2021, but aspects such as page experience (page speed, UX) and identifying user intent become imperative to rank higher on Google in 2021.
When referring to page experience, it’s vital that your users are having an easy time navigating through your website, without any issues (such as very slow loading times).
Are your CTAs in the right places?
Are your users achieving the intended purpose within your pages?
Are users browsing different related pages on the website that lead them down the funnel?
These are the kind of questions you need to address on your website, if you intend on prioritising SEO within your digital marketing strategy.
The other thing to consider within your SEO strategy is ensuring that you’ve identified and are optimising for user intent.
Consider when someone lands on your webpage whether they have searched for a navigational, informational, or transactional query.
Optimising for user intent will be the key to establishing better engagement metrics for your website, but also actually getting conversions.
5. Viral marketing
Viral marketing is something that all businesses want, but unfortunately, it is very difficult to achieve.
Luckily, there are platforms out there that are notorious for driving viral marketing content.
TikTok, for instance, is notorious for this.
Whilst its audience is mainly Gen-Z, that doesn’t mean that you cannot effectively get your message across on the platform.
Optimising your TikTok videos with hashtags and the description can only get you so far, but generally having unique and creative content can give you a massive boost of engagement.
Other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn also have ways to facilitate viral content.
LinkedIn has many ways to “manipulate” the algorithms into displaying your content more prominently across your network.
Ensuring that you use the right hashtags and are connected with the right people who are likely to engage with your content, will put you ahead in terms of your chances to get a LinkedIn post trending.
It’s really not too difficult on LinkedIn, as we’ve had posts trending that only had between 15-20 likes.
B2B marketing trends 2021
When we take into consideration the impact that Covid-19 had on B2B firms, it’s important to note that even though many businesses have reduced their overheads, marketing is still a critical factor that can dominate a market.
As expected, digital isn’t going away anytime soon, and for that reason it’s important that B2B firms spend time concentrating on a digital marketing strategy, especially as marketing spend will increase as things start getting back to normal.
B2B firms should also consider the role that influencers play when it comes to increasing brand awareness and trust within a professional industry.
SaaS companies in particular have been utilising more influencers within their growth strategies, especially as companies are looking for the best alternatives to the tools they are already using.
Even considering B2B partnerships and the growth they entail can be a viable strategy for B2B companies to use as a way of increasing market share in the next 12-months.
B2C marketing trends 2021
2021 is all about customer experiences, or CX.
Maintaining a strong brand presence that provides stellar experiences will set B2C businesses apart from competitors.
There are various drivers of improved customer experiences, such as a strong content marketing strategy mixed into the marketing funnel, as well as the advancements of artificial intelligence (AI) and how it can make consumers’ lives easier.
Lockdowns all around the world meant that increased time has been spent on social media, and this provides a perfect opportunity for brands to step up their social game with compelling and engaging content – but ensure you’ve got the correct communication plan within your brand management first!
Video is still on the rise so investing in a strong video marketing strategy will also help increase engagement amongst customer groups.
Whilst the landscape of digital marketing doesn’t seem to be changing that rapidly, the reality is that strategies are evolving and consumer tastes are changing.
The most important part of any digital marketing strategy is to experiment and test things out.
Sometimes you’ll win, sometimes you’ll lose.
That’s how digital marketing is.
Hopefully you’ve now got a better understanding about how you can improve your digital marketing strategy as we approach closer to 2021.
If you need help with your digital marketing and SEO strategy, I’m an SEO consultant in London that can help maximise your digital presence.