The coronavirus pandemic has changed how
businesses operate. More products and services have now moved online and a lot
of workers now either work remotely or in a hybrid setting. This period of
different customer responses to COVID-19 has given us some insights into the marketing
trends that worked in 2020 and those we should expect in 2021.
As a result of the pandemic, the retail
landscape has been dramatically transformed, with clients creating new shopping
habits and having higher expectations from brands.
Digital marketing has grown just as much, with
the creation of virtual platforms to replace in-person experiences and campaign
redesigns due to our new reality. Despite this, given the rapid advancement of
new technologies, behaviors, and trends, professional marketers have to look
even further into the future.
Your business needs to consider some vital
digital marketing trends to engage and retain current clients and generate more
leads, traffic, and income. Business owners need to invest their time and
resources in these trends.
The digital marketing trends seem to revolve
around two unique, but almost contradictory concepts. First is a general
humanization, that addresses real problems and tailors content to suit the
individual (as opposed to what the public wants) for more personal engagement.
The second concept is much more technical and
mechanical optimization, fine-tuning the behind-the-scenes in areas such as
SEO, and how business owners create campaigns.
So, will content still be king? Which
platforms should you invest in? How can digital marketers engage and retain
their customers? It’s never too early to begin researching, planning, and
strategizing. Below are some digital marketing trends that all marketers should
keep an eye out for.
Trend 1: An increase in live
streams and influencer content
The lockdown period caused most people to stay
at home. Due to this, a lot of events got canceled or most consumers couldn’t
attend in-person events. They could not socialize with their friends and
This resulted in a rise in the number of people depending on live
streams, whether it was a branded live stream, a live video from their favorite celebrity, or online
On Facebook, live viewings increased by 50 percent during lockdown periods,
while viewing on Instagram increased by 70 percent. TikTok users also spiked, and there’s a good chance
we’ll continue seeing this upward trajectory.
Human-driven content such as influencer
live-streams can create trust, and take advantage of the ‘in-the-moment’
connection that 2020 consumers crave.
During the pandemic, Amazon Live got going.
Marketers used the platform to promote their favorite products during live
events. Additionally, the live streams were shoppable, which meant viewers
could buy products as they watch.
Trend 2: Use of image and video
SEO for visual searches
Most people already know that they can search for pictures
and videos by typing in keywords; however, others
are not aware that they can also submit existing images for a search, or take
original images and search for context. As more people discover these visual
search techniques, it changes the SEO landscape.
To take advantage of the increased number of visual searches, ensure that your photo and video SEO
campaigns are in great shape. For a start, make use of these techniques:
Always add alt text in descriptions of your images.
Include images to your sitemap or have an image sitemap.
Add your target SEO keywords in the file name of your images.
Make use of high-quality images and videos.
In addition to these basics, you should get
familiar with how Google Lens works, particularly if you’re an e-commerce
business. If you handle your SEO techniques right, you’ll be able to take
traffic away from your competitors when shoppers carry out image searches for
barcodes or products.
Trend 3: The use of AR in digital engagement
Since Facebook owns Oculus and a lot of other augmented reality
patents, it is only a matter of time before digital growth experts learn
and apply AR into their digital marketing methods.
Although this is not so widely used, now is the time to research, learn, and
think about how AR could be used in your current digital campaigns.
If you haven’t already noticed, the previous year saw the
dominance of artificial intelligence (AI). This technology is predicted to be
at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and it’s already
taking over a lot of simple tasks.
For instance, Uber and Microsoft made use of
robots to patrol parking lots and big outdoor areas to determine and prevent
crime. These robots can read license plates, report suspicious activity, and
gather information to report to their owners.
AI can analyze the behavior and search
patterns of consumers, and use information from blog posts and social media
platforms to help business owners understand how their customers search and
locate their products and services.
Trend 4: Social media used for
more engagement and memory retention
Brands need to get ready to dedicate more resources to social
media marketing in 2021. In the US, social media budgets accounted for 24 percent of their total marketing budgets during
the second phase of 2020, which was an increase from the 13 percent recorded
During the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners
are increasingly making customer retention their priority. This is predicted to
continue into 2021. The pandemic has greatly increased the amount of time
people spend online which includes how they search for brands, companies, and
This shift creates new opportunities for
digital marketers to increase their approach to new audiences and re-engage
with long-time clients. A good digital marketer can create a content plan, make
regular posts, monitor and drive customer responses, and attract new customers.
If your business has been putting off including social media services in your
marketing strategy, now is the time!
Trend 5: Short-form video content will dominate the industry
It is estimated that video content will solidify its position as the
standard of digital marketing in 2021. The coronavirus pandemic has only
highlighted its importance and the demand for video is not going to slow down
anytime soon. It is quickly becoming vital to the marketing strategy of any
business, and organizations have already made great progress with their video
But most important is the fact that shorter videos are emerging as a front runner. Although longer video
content still has a place in the digital marketing space, short-form videos are
dominating this landscape – they’re quick videos and snippets that are an immediate fix for
brands that want to connect with their customers and remain relevant.
Shorter videos are more memorable, easy to digest, and can
increase engagement. For instance, look at the astronomical success that TikTok had during the COVID-19 pandemic to see
the desire of viewers for shorter video content.
6. The popularity of voice search
Currently, voice search is not a part of Google’s algorithm; but
it’s still dictating search results today. Voice search queries often produce
different results than if the user had typed in a text in the search bar. For
SEO purposes, brands need to be on their toes with voice search components for
their consumers who are adapting and switching over to that medium.
In voice search, the content has to be
specifically optimized for the user’s voice. It should be more direct and
conversational so that it will accurately sync with search results. This will
help increase traffic by remaining relevant and more visible to clients.
Voice search is predicted to be the next frontier
of SEO. More users prefer to talk into their search bars than type, whether
while using voice-activated AI assistants on their desktops or using their
mobile devices like walkie-talkies.
Voice searches produce impressive results than text
searches. It is expected that there will be a Gold Rush in 2021 to crack the
code of SEO for voice search to grab more organic search results.
What digital marketing trends are most important?
All brands need to take a look at how they can
harness the latest marketing trends so they can apply the latest technology in
their digital marketing campaigns because of these reasons:
Business owners will focus 70 percent of their
time on things they’re sure are vital to their business. They’ll focus on 20
percent on pushing boundaries, and the remaining 10 percent on crazy
experimental things. Evaluating innovations can help you push the boundaries
and also improve your digital marketing activities.
At a higher level, the trends across digital
marketing methods are similar yearly, with more interest in search, social
media, web design, and content marketing techniques to engage and convert
The digital marketing landscape is constantly
changing, and due to this, it is important to know some of the expected trends
before developing your 2021 digital marketing strategy.
The unpredictable nature of 2020 has forced
businesses to think long and hard about ways to connect with their customers
and prospects. Stay-at-home orders forced people to remain inside, which also
meant that they were spending more time online.
This resulted in brands such as Liwa creating
more human-centric ways of reaching their customers. Digital marketers will
have to keep on learning and upgrading with advances in technology. The voice
of the consumer is getting louder and digital spaces are the key to converse