Although some of the pre-pandemic digital marketing developments did come to fruition, others did not due to the numerous forced adaptations reshaping aspects of the marketing environment. Most noticeably, eCommerce sales increased dramatically as people spent far more time on social media, and video conferencing became commonplace. This has resulted in a significant change in the way brands interact with their customers.
Here are some key trends that we observed so far into 2021:
Influencer marketing is a form of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using influential people to spread the brand message to a broader audience. Influencers may be well-known celebrities, but they’re most likely to be Instagram or YouTube stars with a large niche audience that can actively promote your company or product via their social media platforms.
The growth of this industry is being fueled by a decline in the number of people watching TV and the proliferation of ad blockers, proving that word of mouth is still a highly effective form of marketing in the modern era.
Influencer marketing isn’t just a fad. According to a Mediakix survey, influencer marketing ad spends could hit $10 billion by next year.
Artificial intelligence would affect influencer marketing as well. With each passing year, artificial intelligence (AI) makes the task of identifying the best influencers to collaborate with simpler and quicker. It assists in identifying people who have higher interest, fewer false fans, and a greater chance of achieving a good return on investment (ROI).
Artificial intelligence has more or less taken over the world. It will undoubtedly be at the core of global business and industry in the future – and it is now displacing several routine tasks.
To help companies understand how consumers find their goods and services, AI can study user behavior and browsing habits, as well as user data from social media sites and blog posts.
Chatbots are an exciting example of AI in action (more on that later). For example, to simplify payment processing, Mastercard developed a Facebook messenger bot that uses natural language processing tools to decode what the consumer needs and act as if it were a human.
Top content teams in 2021 depend on AI to create content instead of guessing what subtopics to cover in a post. Using AI to serve up subtopics and associated keywords would make every article ultra-comprehensive and increase the chances of ranking on page one.
With the Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate campaigns addressing endemic problems that persist within different aspects of culture, inclusivity became a bigger priority.
In 2021, brands that are seen to be non-inclusive or that do not seem to be part of the inclusivity dialogue will undoubtedly face the consequences. Brands who publicly promote their interest with inclusive causes, on the other hand, would reap the gains and build stronger relationships with their customers.
Increase in Voice and Visual Search
Consumers are increasingly using voice-activated software like Alexa and Cortana to conduct searches. Perhaps it is because people are left at home with fewer options for interaction, or maybe it’s just because this form of technology is more readily available.
However, we should foresee other innovative discovery approaches, such as visual search, to climb to the top in 2021, in addition to voice search.
Consumers may use tools like Google Lens to look for something they can find. This means that picture alt-text and sitemaps will become much more relevant for advertisers. Visuals will become increasingly relevant in the SEO game over the next year.
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Smaller companies can find this alternative to be profitable as early as 2021. Using a mobile site—or, better still, a responsive site—will improve the user experience, but there can also be issues. A sluggish or difficult-to-navigate website can always leave a sour taste in a client’s mouth, resulting in a wasted chance or even a tarnished name. You would probably not prefer availing the services of a company whose website was shabby and didn’t answer well. With the and number of consumers using mobile devices, Progressive Web Apps, which combine the advantages of searching on a mobile website and using a mobile app, are becoming more common.
Segmentation Leading to Higher Retention
Since keeping current buyers costs less money than acquiring new ones, marketing experts often advise putting more time into the later stages of the buyer’s journey. Satisfied customers are more likely to inform their peers and make recommendations, which helps to raise sales. They’re much more able to provide you with detailed and candid reviews on topics that can only help the brand.
Keep them up to date with any systemic developments or initiatives that can affect the relationship by emailing or engaging with them on social media. You can save money while also supplying your goods and services by gathering data and segmenting your clients. You may also target them more cost-effectively, helping you to get more bang for the buck on your marketing budget.
Focus on Employee Engagement
HR departments realized fairly quickly that the COVID-19 pandemic would affect workers and their productivity. For some, this was their first time working remotely, and the feeling was both familiar and liberating. However, for the most part, the excitement has worn off. When you add the pressures from children and the burden of coping with the outside world, it’s not a surprise that staff morale and productivity are suffering.
It’s critical to keep employees connected because motivated employees will communicate more effectively and deliver better client results. It is your responsibility as a manager or business owner to ensure that your customer-servicing teams (service, marketing, and sales) understand that you are still working toward the same common goal even if you are not in the office. Break projects down into manageable blocks and establish consistent milestones. Then, make sure you have several contact networks lined up and ready to communicate achievements with the whole team on each one.