If you had to describe 2020 with one word, you might choose “unpredictable.” It has been fascinating watching the world of digital marketing adjust to unprecedented changes in real time. We’ve seen consumers change their behaviour to reflect the reclusive nature of the new world, at a pace no one predicted.
It may be hard to predict what to expect from 2021, but we’re certain that brands should be hyper-focused on these marketing trends during the forthcoming year.
Digital Marketing Trends That Are Anticipated To Be Popular In 2021
More Celebrity and Influencer Collaborations With Brands
If the massive landscape of e-commerce in 2020 were a museum, influencers would be the curators. Millions watched as these popular profiles advertised products, shared reviews, and added a splash of life to a world that stood still. Influencers are evolving: the word “influencer” is in many people’s daily vernacular, and consumers are well aware of the basics of influencer advertising. As the role of influencers evolved, brands should continue to find new ways to pair up with influencers. Here are a few ideas:
First, consumers aren’t just looking at influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. There’s also a huge market for micro-influencers (10,000 to 100,000 followers) and even nano-influencers (1,000 to 10,000 followers). These users are often popular in niche markets, and while, they may not have as many followers as a full-blown influencer, they still have high engagement and an audience they’ve built trust with.
Long-term partnerships with influencers are also a way to maximize the effectiveness of promotional content. One-off posts can get lost in the fray of promotional work. When a brand builds a long-term partnership with an influencer, the audience develops a sense of trust – the most important factor to consider when considering influence.
Artificial intelligence has captured and held the entire technology industry’s attention for years. What makes AI important in 2021, is that the technology has developed quickly, and AI is more accessible for digital marketing contexts than ever before. These are a few ways brands can benefit from AI:
- Building psychographics of visitors
- Offering dynamic, personalized ad service
- Calculating times of peak engagement
- Incorporating chat bots into their website
Humans are visual creatures. We process images 60,000 times faster than text – research shows that it can take us as little as 13 milliseconds to process an image.
It’s not so hard to see why visual search has become so appealing. Visual search tools, like Google Lens, allow the use of an image as a search query. After snapping a picture, they have access to thousands of results about the item or scene.
How can brands count themselves in? Make sure your site’s images are labelled thoroughly and accurately (TIP: Doing this also helps users who face accessibility barriers!)
Increased Ad-Spending For E-Commerce
E-Commerce was already huge before the COVID-19 pandemic began. But the wave of shutdowns and lockdowns brought more users than ever before to the web. All brands should have their eyes on the digital marketplace.
Automated Bidding In Google Ads
If you use Google Ads as an advertiser, the amount you pay Google is determined by your quality score, your keyword’s competitive value, and your bid. Many advertisers can opt to set their bid automatically, to simplify the entire process. This step requires more than just a simple click: there are multiple automated bidding strategies you can choose from. We’ve listed some strategy settings below.
- Maximize Clicks to increase visits to your site.
- Target Impression Share to increase ad visibility.
- Target CPA to get more conversions with your target cost-per-action.
- Target ROAS to meet a target return on ad spend when you value each conversion differently.
- Maximize Conversions to get more conversions on a specific budget.
- Maximize Conversion Value to get more conversion value on a specific budget.
Retailers want potential buyers to be as close as possible to making a purchase. Buyers want the purchasing process to be easier and quicker. Shoppable posts are a win-win for these parties.
Previously, brands would add retail links to social media posts. With shoppable posts – also called “social commerce” – users don’t need to click a link, because they can shop straight from the post’s interface. Instagram posts and YouTube video descriptions have this feature, and the industry is excited to see where else this feature will pop up.
Don’t let the popularity of online shopping make you think that local businesses don’t matter to consumers. Local brands should pay close attention to local search engine optimization techniques. When people are curious about nearby venues and services, they use search engines to find them.
These are some useful local SEO techniques:
- Structure your citations with clear, up-to-date information. This means ensuring that addresses, phone numbers, and hours of operation are accurate. COVID-19 may have changed your business’ hours or services, so ensure that people who find your business have the right information.
- Looking for keyword ideas? Use “[service] in [location]” as a formula. Examples include “hairstylist in Montreal”, “Mediterranean restaurant near me”, or “auto repair shop in downtown Ottawa.” This is how people typically phrase their searches for local businesses.
- Try searching your own business, or look up a term someone would use to find your business. Does your brand look like it measures up to what your competitors offer?
The next huge trend in search engine optimization is voice search. Many users choose to make search queries by speaking into their smart home device or phone, rather than typing. This option is faster, feels more natural, and offers the benefit of accessibility to plenty of users.
To make your brand voice search-friendly, write using conversational language, or phrasing that sounds natural. Someone using voice search will more likely say, “how do I paint my walls?” rather than “wall painting instructions”.
Video has been popular for over a decade. So why is it more important in 2021?
Over the last year, viewers’ eyes were glued to videos on streaming services, YouTube, and other social networks. Video is informative and engaging, and showcases your brand in an authentic manner. Plus, audiences love dynamic visuals, and you can keep their retention by incorporating video into your digital brand.