There are new digital marketing trends emerging all the time. At times it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with them, but it’s important that you stay on top of these trends. It might just make the difference for your business not falling behind your competitors. But that SHOULD be the case.
After all, if you intend remain competitive in today’s business landscape, you must adapt to the latest innovations, technologies and trends.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, smart speakers and virtual reality were once just ambitious concepts but today have become some of the most important digital marketing trends.
In this article we will look at 10 digital marketing trends in 2021 that could shape the future of your business!
1. Mobile Marketing
These days, mobile is everywhere. Mobile marketing will continue to be one of the top digital marketing trends in 2021, as more and more people continue to use their smartphones for everything. From online shopping, reading and sending emails to simply looking up directions. It’s important that you keep your website optimised for mobile devices, so it doesn’t seem outdated compared to competitors. Make sure to optimise your images for speed and size on mobile screens, since they can take longer to load than desktop displays.
In 2021, more than 54% of all website traffic worldwide came from mobile devices. You can take advantage of this trend by providing customers with personalised, time and location specific information on the go.
The most common mobile marketing ad formats include social media, website and in-app ads tailored specifically for mobile screens.
2. Chatbots & Conversational Marketing
One of the most important digital marketing trends in 2021 and beyond is making use of chatbots and conversational marketing. You can use chatbots for your business to help out with customer service and marketing. Chatbot usage will not only continue to grow, but the technology will also become more sophisticated. Especially with advancments in artificial intelligence — particularly in the form of conversational marketing, personalisation and answering FAQ’s.
It’s now quite common to see chatbots being used as customer service agents on websites and apps. Businesses are leveraging the power of chatbots and conversational marketing to initiate and engage customers as soon as they visit the platform. It can be quite handy when an automated chatbot is able to answer hundreds of queries to hundreds of customers at once! There are many ready-to-use chatbots available that can be easily integrated with your other apps and plugins to create a seamless experience, but you can also build a chatbot from scratch.
Not to mention, chatbots can also help your business drastically reduce costs. It’s estimated that chatbots will help to cut business costs in the region of £5.7 billion ($8b) by 2022.
Standing out with your marketing efforts in 2021 will require personalising your content, products and services. Personalised marketing involves delivering your brand message specifically targeted to an individual customer. Rather than focusing on quantity like with traditional marketing methods, personalised marketing focuses on using data and leveraging AI to deliver tailored content to customers based on their past behaviour.
Research by Epilson shows that:
- 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences
- 90% say that they find personalisation appealing
Personalised marketing provides your customers with content and products tailored to their needs and past behaviour. The benefits of personalisation include:
- Improved customer loyalty by providing them what they need
- Increased conversion rates from potential customers by making them aware of all the available offers
- Greater propensity to buy again thanks to relevant offers being made available or reduced prices when needed
Personalisation can also help your business make more informed decisions about product development in order not to waste resources developing something nobody wants!
4. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is hardly a trend. It’s actually one of the most important forms of marketing in 2021. Influencer marketing is a great way to help you amplify your brand message to your ideal customer demographic. Consumers are actually more likely to trust and buy products endorsed by someone they follow or admire, rather than a company.
Research shows that:
- 63% of consumers trust influencer reviews of products more than what brands say about themselves
- 58% of consumers have purchased a product that has been recommended by an influencer in the last 6 months
Companies now view influencer marketing as valuable enough to warrant its own marketing budget as addition to established methods like social media marketing.
5. Voice Search & Smart Speakers
Voice search and smart speakers will continue to be one of the biggest digital marketing trends in 2022 and beyond. As of now, more than 50% of all searches are voice-activated. This number is expected to skyrocket beyond 2022. Voice-recognition technology continues to get better, making it easier for speakers of different languages (such as Mandarin) to control their device without typing anything on screen at all.
The number of people using a keyboard and mouse for their searches is expected to keep dropping significantly with voice search set to become more popular than typing in searches in the future, making it the primary way for people to interact with their devices — especially on mobile phones.
With 43% of smart speaker owners using the technology to shop, marketers will need to take into account how to best integrate smart speaker technology and voice search optimisation (VSO) into marketing campaigns in order to stay relevant.
6. Content Marketing for SEO
Content marketing is a great way to increase website traffic and has been a growing digital marketing trend over the last few years. Creating informative and engaging content really is powerful method for promoting a business online.
The power of content marketing means that you can promote your business through providing answers to questions in the form of informative, relevant and engaging articles — all while potential customers are actively searching for them. Oragnic searches can help to spread the word about what your company offers more effectively and cheaper than paid advertising in the long run. It’s no wonder that many businesses have turned to blogging as their main form of online promotion!
Content marketing can prove to be one of the best investments you can make for your business. If you create something that is useful and shareable, your blog posts or articles are more likely to generate traffic back to your website through social media shares and links from other websites — which greatly helps with your SEO efforts. So, content marketing is definitely a trend that’s here to stay!
7. Augemnted Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR):
Gartner research has revealed that by 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use.
Augmented reality (AR) has made huge strides in recent years and is set to rise further beyond 2022. It’ll soon impact every industry imaginable, transforming how we buy products, learn about services and find information. Businesses should absolutely consider leveraging AR technology and some already are! For example, the IKEA Place app, which allows you to virtually “place” furniture around your room.
Meanwhile, virtual reality (VR) has exploded in popularity in recent years and now offers a powerful new marketing tool. Brands like Red Bull are already taking advantage of this technoligy with Copenhagen-based VR studio Virsabi allowing you to experience the famous Red Bull Stratos jump with Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner.
Another example of VR integration is Facebook’s recent rebrand to Meta – its planned virtual reality world comprising of VR headsets and augmented reality.
It’s clear that AR and VR will be a huge digital marketing trend in 2022 and beyond.
User-generated content (UGC) is one of the digital marketing trends you’ll be seeing more and more in 2022. It’s an especially great way to tap into the younger market segments consisting of Millennials and Gen Z. By encouraging your audience to create and share unique content about your brand in exchange for a feature or chance to win a prize, you can grearly amplify your brand awareness and reach.
Leveraging user-generated content also means that your business doesn’t need to spend as much money on graphic designers and video editors. Instead, you can harnesses the creativity of everyday social media creators and amplify their reach – this way you both can benefit.
Setting up social media challenges is a great way to encourage UGC. For example, Calvin Klein managed to run a successful campaign by asking their followers to fill in the campaign line “I ______ in #MyCalvins”. Celebrities along with everyday people got involved, generating over 4.5 million interactions and gaining a total of 3.6 million new followers over a period of 4 months.
9. Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of things is one of those emerging digital marketing trends you must pay close attention to. The world is moving on from just using computers, smartphones and tablets. IoT refers to any device that is able to connect to the internet, including headphones, wearable devices, home assistants like Alexa and even some vehicles!
There are over 26 billion connected devices and this number expected to increase to 43 billion by 2023. Marketers are going to have massive amounts of data that will be produced by all of these devices. This will not only have an impact on consumer behaviour, but also change how marketing is used to grab their attention. Businesses that leverage these new insights into consumer behaviour provided by the data will find new opportunities to market their products and services.
Advancements in things like cloud computing, 5G technology and AI are only going to create more opportunties for marketers and advertisers.
10. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI is now a part of pretty much every new software product and service – from chatbots to data analysis tools. As such, AI is a digital marketing trend that’s only going to get bigger. Marketing teams and agencies will continue to integrate AI technology into their day-to-day in order to get better insights on customer behaviour.
For example, AI can be used on eCommerce platforms to show relevant products to shoppers, based on their previous searches, buys and views – providing them with a more personalised experience.
The more a company is using AI, the better it will be at analysing data and using this information for targeted marketing campaigns. With the help of AI, marketers can target customers with similar profiles in real time – or they can even create personalised messages for individuals based on their browsing history. This kind of detailed targeting allows companies to get higher engagement rates from prospected customers.
According to Smart Insights:
“AI is now more accessible for businesses, making it a valuable tool for digital marketers. It is irrefutable that AI largely influences the choices of your customers, helping to provide relevant recommendations and timely customer service. Looking at the ways that you can make use of it will better enable you to grow your brand and meet the expectations of your customers.“
Marketers need to be on the cusp of these digital marketing trends and implement them as soon as they can in order to keep up with changing times. Keeping on top of these and other emerging trends will give you an edge over your competitors.
Do you need help with your digital marketing? Here at Ambition Digital, we’re a 5-star rated agency striving to bring commercial-grade digital marketing solutions to help businesses improve their online presence. Reach out to us to discuss your requirements today.