Digital Marketing Trends You Must Know For 2021
There’s no doubt about it: 2020 was a crazy year unlike any other.
But, it’s time to focus on the horizon and what to expect in the months ahead. Last year was utterly unpredictable. While some trends predicted before the pandemic did take shape, several others never came to light as outside forces reshaped the marketing landscape.
For example, e-commerce shot through the roof. Thanks to Covid-19, people spent much more time at home shopping, video conferencing, and on social media.
Ultimately, the way brands and consumers connect has undergone a significant shift. For 2021, the emerging digital marketing trends seem to focus less on the usual suspects like white label backlinks or page rank and more on, well, keep reading to find out.
Inclusivity became more and more critical in 2020 as various movements like Black Lives Matter emphasized the endemic issues plaguing many social elements.
Apparent to those who have been paying attention, this cultural shift has impacted purchase behavior. Brands that fail to embrace inclusivity will likely face negative impacts in 2021.
Over 40 percent of shoppers moved away from brands that don’t share their views on diversity, identity, and even politics.
Meanwhile, brands that highlight their inclusivity and involvement in causes will develop stronger connections with buyers and reap the rewards.
In 2021, customer experience is more important than ever before. In addition to wanting proof and reassurance of a product’s quality before they buy, today’s consumers also want enjoyable experiences with great, memorable brands.
User-generated content helps brands connect with consumers and do precisely that. With UGC, you can:
• Relate to and uplift your audience
• Build and strengthen brand loyalty
• Generate a ton of content
User-generated content has a long history of helping brands provide social proof and develop customer relationships, and it will continue to trend in 2021 and beyond.
This trend has also been around for a while, but only recently has it become a widely recognized marketing best practice.
Unlike static content, interactive content promotes increased engagement and a better overall user experience. Interactive content like contests, polls, surveys, quizzes, and even open-ended questions can seriously enhance your brand.
At a minimum, interactive content will increase the amount of time users spend on your site, which will boost your rankings in feeds and searches. More importantly, it will improve a user’s experience and their enjoyment of your site or brand.
Interactive content is simply a single aspect of the growing trend towards inclusivity and personalization. By giving users a platform to make their voice heard, you’re allowing them to develop a more personal connection to your product and brand.
Of course, interactive content offers other benefits as well. It’s also helpful in gathering valuable data on demographics and user preferences.
In 2020, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders resulted in thousands of canceled events as people could not socialize with anyone or even step foot out their door.
What happened? A massive surge of people turned to live streams. From branded live streams and online workshops to live celebrity clips, everyone tuned in to live streams to connect with others and brands.
Live viewings on Facebook shot up 50 percent last year. On Instagram, they spiked 70 percent.
Meanwhile, Amazon Live had a run as influencers flocked to the platform for product promotions and live events. It’s safe to say we’ll see this trend continue in 2021.
Visual And Voice Search
Thanks to Google Lens and similar tools, people can search for anything they see. For marketers, this means putting even more focus on sitemaps and image alt-text for images. Visuals will continue to increase in SEO importance over the next year.
Another type of search trending in 2021 is voice search. A growing number of people are using Alexa and other voice-activated tools to search and browse online. About 25 percent of homes utilize this type of technology in one form or another, and this figure is rising. Voice search will continue to increase right along with it.
Early adopters who try to support both voice and visual search on their websites should boost their revenue by up to 30 percent.
Your video and image-based SEO campaigns need to be finely tuned. Things like alt text for image descriptions, dedicated image sitemaps, and keywords in image file names can make a noticeable impact on your campaign performance in 2021.
Position Zero And Featured Snippets
For several years, SEO was all about landing in the top spot of the search engine results. In 2021, more and more marketing experts are shifting their SEO focus towards “position zero.”
Position zero is nothing more than a Google “featured snippet,” and now more than ever before, it’s being prioritized above every other SEO trend.
Why? Well, unlike other search results, a featured snippet stands alone by itself at the top of a page. Even more importantly, it provides an answer to a searcher’s query without the need to click further. Therefore, a featured snippet is also commonly referred to as a “no-click search.”
While you may lose out on a few clicks, the recognition you’ll receive as an authority will more than make up for it. Plus, featured snippets are often automatically read aloud when people perform voice searches, which are becoming increasingly popular.
Rounding out the list of 2021 digital marketing trends is sustainability.
Did you know over 80 percent of consumers think companies should play an active role in reducing carbon emissions and cleaning up the environment?
At first, this may be difficult to believe given the number of people you read or hear about on the news who seem to take an opposite stance. However, over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a considerable shift in the number of brands embracing sustainability and the promise of a greener future.
Whether it’s using more sustainable materials or a shift in the actual systems used, companies are taking proactive steps to contribute to a more sustainable existence, and consumers are taking notice. They are seeking out brands who do so.
So, to succeed even more significantly in 2021, incorporate a sustainable message into your website, social media pages, and your brand. Most importantly, follow through with that message by making your products or processes more sustainable.
By doing so, you will position yourself as an advocate for not just your customers but also the Earth, which will bring you a mountain of good karma and sales.
Ready For Success In 2021?
The unpredictability of 2020 has made brands think twice about how they reach out and connect with their customers. Stay-at-home orders and store closures meant people got forced to stay inside and spend a lot more time online. This act pushed brands to branch out and create more human-centric ways of reaching their buyers.
Over the next 12 months, we’ll see this continue. Live-streams will become increasingly common , purpose-driven brands that champion sustainability will rise to the top, and UGC will remain an integral part of every marketing strategy.