In 2021, the businesses are majorly focusing on creating a brand image for themselves. Some new trends in digital marketing in 2021 like Voice Search Optimization, Influencer Marketing, chatbots with Whatsapp Business and Story Ads on social media are helping businesses achieve their goals.
Digital marketing has taken over traditional marketing methods completely. Both online and offline digital marketing techniques have impeccable results in terms of customer acquisitions and they are affordable as well. Check out our latest article to learn more about how you can grow your business online with digital marketing.
Let’s discuss the top trends in Digital Marketing in 2021, to understand the mood of the market:
1. WhatsApp Business and Chatbots
WhatsApp is a huge brand and if I’m not wrong, the most used application of the decade. After Facebook acquired WhatsApp we can expect most of the market is covered with the launch of WhatsApp business. It has been developed keeping small businesses in mind. It gives a huge advantage to small businesses over brands.
Brands are using chatbots with WhatsApp Business to interact with their customers. And small businesses can make more personalized connections with their customers using WhatsApp Business. It is kind of helping both brands and small businesses while maintaining a healthy competition.
Some lovable features of WhatsApp Business which are like the bonanza for small businesses who aspire to establish themselves in the market are these:
- Business Profile
- Catalog Manager
- Story Ads
- Chat Labeling
- Quick Replies
- Automated Responses.
2. Podcast – You Better Listen
Millennials and Gen Z alike are consuming content on a daily basis. The major types of content they consume is entertaining and educational. Everyone has a certain limit of time and that restricts the limit of consumption of visual content. And this is the reason, audio format of content like audio-books and podcasts are being popular in 2021.
Podcasts are especially becoming a favorite of the millennials because most of them are working. And finding time during working hours is kinda hard for them. Podcasts allow them to consume content while they are at work or multitasking. Remember the days of radio. It is being reincarnated in a much more flexible format for listeners.
Podcasters are using paid advertising and influencer marketing for passive incomes. In 2021, digital trends are signaling us that we should start working on building audiences on podcast platforms like iTunes, Overcast and Listen Notes.
3. LinkedIn – Bring it B2B!
LinkedIn has now established itself as a very sophisticated marketplace among professionals. More professionals are interacting and consuming content on this platform, it makes it a perfect place for B2B brands to increase their visibility among key decision-makers.
Recently I saw YouTube’s ad on LinkedIn which was explaining to marketers how YouTube paid ads to help brands gain more exposure and customer acquisition. This helped me realize how powerful LinkedIn has become in the past few years.
Here is advice for every B2B small business owners and marketers, start taking this platform seriously. Create an audience on LinkedIn by creating quality content and paid ads on LinkedIn.
4. TikTok – A Giant Asleep
This platform needs no introduction whatsoever. Because this engages the most valuable audience for any business, which is Gen Z. This is the section of the digital audience that has the most influence of social media on their lives. Gen Z is taking every single buying decision being influenced by social media.
In 2021, TikTok is now one of the ‘big fours‘ of social media which are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to become a ‘Big Five’. Influencers on TikTok have a kind of following which is loyal and niche-focused for marketing purposes. It is one of the best platforms to market your product with short and creative videos.
Brands are using ‘TikTok celebrities’ to increase their visibility. Small businesses, on the other hand, can use this platform to connect with the audience by creating engaging, entertaining and educating content around their niche. The trick in TikTok marketing is to keep up with the trends and look organic in the feed.
5. Story Ads – Once Upon a Time
In paid methods of digital marketing, story ads are going to take over the trends in digital marketing in 2021. The reason is simple, it is more engaging and more relevant for online audiences.
Look at it this way, why do we check WhatsApp and Instagram stories of people we follow and care about? Because we want to learn what’s new in their lives on a daily basis. Similarly, when people love a brand, they want to be updated with their new products and offers. So that they can make better buying decisions.
Almost every big platform has introduced story features, including YouTube. Stories have a direct impact on online audiences. If you are thinking about investing in social media paid to advertise, you can find a more relevant audience in story ads with increased engagement. However, every business has different needs of marketing, how story ads can work for you better, depends on the niche you are targeting.
I’m hoping that LinkedIn introduces story features soon, so the B2B marketers can also use this awesome feature to reach and engage their targeted audience.
6. Instagram: Engage, Entertain and Educate
Instagram is one of the ‘Big Four’ of social media. It is becoming essential for every business to at least have a business account on Instagram and put up content daily. But in 2021, it’s especially becoming trendy among small e-commerce businesses all over the world. The best thing is, it still hasn’t covered the Indian market.
For Indian small e-commerce businesses, it is a very golden time to start using the huge marketplace of Instagram to increase sales and convert visitors into paid customers. With Instagram’s shoppable tags and other marketplace features, small Indian e-commerce businesses can make huge growth in terms of sales and customer acquisition.
For local small businesses like cafes, restaurants, and coachings, paid ads and influencer marketing on Instagram, can work as a magic for marketing efforts. The one thing that needs to be done right is- choosing the right kind of target audience.
7. Digital PR – Make it NewsWorthy
Most of the PR strategies are shifting from traditional PR to digital PR. The reason being the same- the increased amount of digital mediums of interactions among masses. Digital PR stands for Public Relationship strategies using online and digital methods.
Digital PR strategies include online press releases with online journalists, Blogging, giving search ranking boost by creating relevant backlinks. And using online influencer and subject matter experts to publishing interviews and reviews.
The difference between Digital PR and Digital Marketing is simple. Where digital marketing is primarily focused on a targeted audience to improve the monetary growth of a business, Digital PR is focused on making the public appearance of the brand and making it newsworthy.
Digital PR will come in handy if you are planning to build a brand image for your business in 2021.
8. Youtube Community – Subscribers becoming Family
YouTube has been for many years now, an integral part of digital experience. From being a platform to watch videos for entertainment to being a search engine and a huge advertising platform, YouTube has evolved significantly. But only recently it has been recognized as one of the online community platforms.
In recent years, YouTube influencers have made remarkable progress. And they have transformed this search engine/ video streaming platform/ entertainment platform/ educational platform /huge market into a way of interacting with like-minded people on a different level.
Video blogging or as it is called ‘vlogging’ has made people interested in sharing their opinions, personal lives, professional advice, and any crazy stuff they have just figures. In trends in Digital Marketing in 2021, the YouTube community has a big say.
9. AR – Augmented Reality for Content Creation
Digital marketers around the world are sensing this upcoming trend. Augmented reality still hasn’t touched the Indian online market yet. But it is touching the digital marketing field with Instagram and Snapchat filters from brands.
AR is predicted as an emerging trend in digital marketing in 2021 and it is going to stand for more coming years.
AR is not only boosting content marketing strategy, it is also useful for increasing engagement on social media for brands. The latest filter from Cadbury and McDonalds on Snapchat and Rayben’s goggle filter on Instagram are the best examples.
10. Digital Detox Marketing – Keep Digital Away
It seems odd to talk about Digital detox marketing while we are talking about how to reach more people using digital mediums. But that’s the beauty of this new trend in digital marketing in 2021. Digital detox means trying to keep people less occupied on digital mediums like social media platforms.
To encourage people to spend less time on social media, brands are creating awareness about digital toxicity and improving user experience. So users have to be less occupied on the digital medium and enjoy life more.
Did you see Google Pay’s recent advertisement? Where it shows how G-pay allows you to quickly complete a transaction, so you have more time to spend with your loved ones. By encouraging them to take a break from digital toxicity is a way to create a positive brand image using digital marketing.
11. Facebook Community – Stands United
Some will say that the Facebook community is overrated, and they are right. But aren’t most overrated social media platforms are most beneficial as well? Here I’m not talking about the common Facebook features like a Facebook business page. I’m talking about the kind of community Facebook has become over the years.
Facebook has become a community where people discuss different community problems and their solutions. If you are building a business and have a product, it would be awesome if you can attach a social or environmental cause with that product or service. And highlight that in your Facebook community.
Change is appreciated among Facebook community people, if your brand stands for a change, it will gain more exposure on Facebook. The use of the Facebook community will increase more in the way of customer engagement than a market place.
12. Social Marketplace – Socialize to Sell
Social media has a huge role in any kind of digital marketing campaign. And that’s why it has become necessary for all businesses. The transition of social media into the social market has given rise to a new trend in digital marketing in 2021.
Businesses are using social media to engage with the targeted audiences But the social market is actually converting these visitors and followers into paying customers. As a result, major social media platforms are already starting their transition as a social market place like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Whatsapp. Other platforms are also ready to adapt to this new market model.
Most people go to social media for ideas, and if they have an opportunity to actualize the idea from the same platform, then it’s like the cherry on top. Pinterest is leading in this method of digital marketing. When you pin your favorite outfit ideas, you can actually visit the store from there and decide if that idea fits into your budget.
13. Live Video: The Person Behind the Brand
Besides stories, live videos are the best way of making a real-time interaction with the targeted audience. Live video isn’t an exclusive feature, all kinds of social media platforms are using this completely awesome feature to get in touch with your targeted audience in real-time.
Solo entrepreneurs, like influencers, will be surprised how live videos on different channels can dramatically increase their reach and value. Live videos work so well in instilling trust among your audiences, which is the core of influencer marketing. If people don’t trust, if they are not sure about your honesty, no matter what you say, they won’t be influenced.
Live videos are a way to share real-time updates with your audiences and give your audience a chance to know the real you. The real person behind a brand name and that is no doubt fascinating.
Learn more about using live videos to dominate the content marketing in 2021 in this recent article, click here!
14. Influencers Marketing – Say As it is
Just like celebrity endorsement for brands, small businesses can use influencers on social media to create a brand identity and increase their visibility. Especially local businesses can take help from influencers to promote their and get the word about your business out in masses.
Some will argue over the position of influencer marketing in trends in Digital Marketing in 2021. Because influencers are having a hard time maintaining an honest profile on social media and people don’t like it when their favorite people sell them out. But if you want to save yourself from downfall as an influencer, always be honest with your audience.
Brands will find other influencers to promote themselves, but you will lose a hard-earned image on digital media.
This is one trend I am damn sure that is going to stay and I repeat influencer marketing is going to stay. There is just a little rethinking needed.
Influencers of the world- these tips are for you-
- Don’t limit yourself to one platform. Explore other platforms as well.
- Your audience is your asset, don’t sell them out.
- Be honest about your opinions, honesty is new sexy.
- Tell stories and don’t recite promotional lines. Those lines are for TV commercials.
- Use live videos and stories at maximum.
15. Voice Search Optimization – Make Your Website Talk
I’ve saved this one for the end because it is too important to keep in mind that I didn’t rank these trends. If I had ranked, voice search would be at the top of the list of trends in digital marketing in 2021.
Voice interaction is just beginning. It is not a trend for a year, it is a trend for a decade. With voice assistance devices like Google Home, it is clear that they are going to become an integral part of the household.
Maybe Indian middle-class households are still hesitating to use these devices, but the upper-middle-class household is fastly adapting to this new technology. Not only voice assistance devices but voice search engines are also becoming popular.
The joy of saying ‘Ok Google’ and finding an answer to a query is incomparable. To appeal to this fast adaption to voice assistance technology, voice optimization of content is required. The secret is to create content that solves the user’s query and that also in a natural order of communication. Using SEO schema to make content voice search optimized can help.
Learn how to do voice search optimization for your website: 5 Killer Tactics to Voice Optimize Your Business Website in this article.
- With an increasing number of digital mediums, digital marketing technology is going to witness many emerging trends in 2021. Some of them have long been here in the market while some are totally new and still at the beginning stage of being adapted by the digital audience.
- No doubt content is still the king of the digital marketing realm, the ways of distributing a piece of content are evolving with time. The major trends in this area will be Podcasts, Live Videos, Stories on Social Media and AR filter.
- The major trends in the way of interaction with the targeting audiences as well as existing customers are Chatbots integrated with WhatsApp, Youtube and Facebook community.
- The allure of freshly formed LinkedIn marketplace will attract b2b marketers. And other social markets like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are going to more actively connect potential buyers to the e-commerce brands.
- Brands are going to use digital PR and Digital detox marketing to create positive images for themselves.
- The best way to appeal to search engines in 2021 is to optimize your content according to voice search needs.