Digital marketing trends are always a hot topic of conversation but what can we expect in 2021? There’s no denying Covid-19 has dramatically changed how many businesses operate as more brands have gone the online route and staff are working remotely or in a hybrid setting.
Considering the current climate, and what has transpired over the last 12 months, brands need to be prepared for the New Year. It’s time for marketers to get creative if they want to generate more traffic, leads and revenue. Here are the top technology and digital marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2021.
Virtual Events And Live Meetings
With the pandemic, virtual meeting and events have grown considerably and this trend will only continue. However, it’s time to move away from one-way communication as there’s so much more to gain from going live.
Whilst many associations and companies feel that virtual events should be broadcast instead of live, that’s a mistake. Even though things can go wrong with live events, the rewards are incredible. In the face of lockdown and isolation, attendees are looking for something that can substitute a live event, even if it’s only in a small way.
It allows you to interact with other people as close to the real thing as possible. Live Q&A’s can open lines of communication and networking that would otherwise not be possible. For this reason, it goes to the top of our technology and digital marketing trends list for 2021.
Mixed Reality For Enhanced Digital Engagement
“Digital transformation” has become a popular buzzword and all sorts of companies are making significant investments in migrating to digital platforms. This includes e-commerce, chatbots, email marketing apps, marketing automation, artificial intelligence and augmented reality. In 2021, you can expect more brands to move into the realms of mixed reality to connect with customers.
With Facebook’s Oculus, Microsoft HoloLens and dozens of other augmented reality patents, it won’t be long before AR forms part of a normal digital marketing strategy. Even though the technology is not quite there yet, marketers must use this year to research, learn and determine how they might incorporate AR into their digital assets.
Digital Marketing Trends With Google My Business
Small business owners cannot and should not go without a Google My Business listing! Making sure your local business is listed, verified and updated is probably the most important thing you can do to stay current across various search platforms.
If you’re a B2C business like a dentist, car dealership or furniture store, you draw customers primarily on a local level. Having a Google My Business listing will provide people with valuable information about your location, products or services and opening hours.
One thing you should do immediately is set a geographically-defined service area within your local listings. Because Google prioritises relevance in their search algorithms, doing this will help with “near me” searches. From there, keep your listings updated to ensure your customers have access to the latest information about your brand.
Recommended: ‘Google My Business For Beginners’
A few years ago predictions were rife that voice search would take over more than half the market but that hasn’t happened yet. However, technology is advancing and before long it will be among the top digital marketing trends. Fact is, experts recommend that brands optimise their content for voice search by making it more direct and conversational.
Even though it’s not currently part of Google’s algorithm, it is still dictating current search results. Voice search queries often yield different results compared to text-based search which can be problematic. Experts recommend preparing and adapting your SEO for voice search to accommodate consumers who are changing the way they search.
As far as digital marketing trends go, chatbots are set to play an even more important role than before. These AI-based technologies use instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night. This allows your brand to communicate with customers or site visitors 24/7.
Some brands are already using chatbots, including the rideshare service, Lyft. You can request a ride via chat (Facebook Messenger and Slack) or voice (Amazon Echo) from where the chatbot lets you know the driver’s current location. There are more chatbot examples across several sectors with the list growing every step of the way.
Many customers prefer brands with chatbots as they are mostly more responsive and available 24/7. Set aside time this year and determine the best way you can implement a chatbot. It’s one of the best ways to enhance the level of service you provide your customers.
Visual Design And Digital Marketing Trends
Regardless of channel or content, first impressions last and that means staying on trend with visual and graphic design. Considering that almost anyone today can spot a badly designed or outdated website, keeping an eye on changing trends is vital.
Always keep an eye on the visual design trends across the most popular sites that your audience may be familiar with. Have a look at these web-graphic design trends for 2021 as highlighted by Venngage:
- Muted Colour Palettes
- Colour Gradients
- Abstract and creative illustrations
- Heavy simple fonts
- Flowing lines and basic shapes
- Genuine and authentic stock photos
- Simple landing pages
- Better branded animations
Add More Interactive Content
Looking ahead, you should consider adding more interactive elements to your website or social media. It’s a great way to provide added value for visitors and encourage them to engage with your brand. Interactive content can also help you learn more about them.
A simple but effective example is adding a mortgage or loan calculator to your website. This is now offering more value to your visitors while you also learn more about them based on the data they entered. This information can help you create more refined personas which will improve your offers.
Other examples of interactive marketing include the following:
- Interactive videos
- Contests (asking people to share a Facebook post of a contest is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get your brand in front of many new prospects)
Final Thoughts On 2021 Digital Marketing Trends
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we live in a time when technology moves fast and that means digital marketing trends are changing. With changing consumer interests and technologies, brands can no longer ‘fake it till you make it’.
Get yourself noticed with a good Google My Business listing using only the most relevant and up to date information. At the same time, utilise the power of social media with interactive content and take time to research AR, VR and AI as technologies will play a bigger part than many of you may realise.
If you need help putting your brand in front of more customers, contact WSI eMarketing. We specialise in social media, PPC, SEO, email marketing and marketing automation. We have our finger on the pulse when it comes to technology and digital marketing trends.