There’s no doubt that 2020 will be remembered as a year that altered our lives forever thanks to the turmoil caused by the coronavirus. Perhaps the most long-term consequence of the pandemic is how it has accelerated the influence of modern digital technologies. These dominate so many aspects of our lives, with social media use and remote working at an all-time high. Even after the pandemic is over, it seems many of these changes will persevere, and digital marketing will continue to dominate companies’ marketing spends. With that in mind, let’s look at some digital marketing trends that look as if they’ll define 2021.
Chatbots Will Continue to Proliferate
If you’ve tried to resolve a missing delivery or dealt with an incorrect Uber Eats order in the past, chances are you’ve interacted with a chatbot. As more and more consumer activity migrates online, more businesses are employing chatbots to streamline resolution processes and deal with a higher volume of customer inquiries. As marketers, this affords us an opportunity to gain insight and information from our customers (as well as helping solve their problems, of course). Businesses are finding increasingly new and innovative ways to engage with customers and help drive website traffic. Their use will only increase across digital marketing as time goes on, and it will be intriguing to see in which direction the technology develops.
Voice Searches Will Become the New Normal
Between Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, virtual assistants are starting to become the norm in more and more neighborhoods. Today, digital voices help us listen to music, receive weather reports, download directions, and even organize our weekly shops. More and more technology can now be controlled by voice command, from smartphones and computers to smart home technology and television sets. As the convenience offered becomes harder to resist, the technology will only become prevalent. This presents an opportunity for digital marketing gurus. If more people are searching the internet with voice control, how will we adapt SEO optimization to capitalize on the digital marketing opportunities? The industry will need to prepare itself for a future where text-based internet navigation diminishes and digital marketing strategy will have to be optimized for voice searching.
VR and AR to Integrate
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have been around in their infancy for some years, but it’s surely only a matter of time before they start to reshape the world of digital marketing. The potential for telling stories and crafting captivating content is limitless and has already seen the technology boom in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic. While it’s too early to say that conventional video content is on the way out, the ability to create non-linear interactive 3D experiences could boost emotional engagement with customers like never before. Many businesses, such as fashion and furniture retail, now boast AR apps that let you view a 3D model of the product in your own home before you buy.
Thanks to the pandemic, online shopping is bigger than ever before and a primary retail environment for many of us. Shoppable posts on different social media platforms offer customers a button to check out with their purchase immediately. It’s a powerful means for leveraging the influence of social media for increased sales and takes all the hassle away from customers.
Video content is still the hottest digital marketing news in town, and 2021 will be the year that it solidifies its dominance. For people stuck at home all day, video content provides entertaining diversion and allows brands to create meaningful emotional engagement with their audiences. If you’re not incorporating video content into some aspect of your digital media marketing campaign, you may find that your competitors start leaving you in the dust. While you still might use long-form videos sparingly, it’s short-form content has really proved a hit with audiences. They’re short, punchy, and can get your brand messaging across succinctly, even for audiences with the shortest concentration spans. One only needs to look at the phenomenal popularity of TikTok to see just how much potential short-form video content holds for modern audiences.
No one could have predicted how 2020 turned out, so we can’t rule out 2021 producing some curveballs. What we can be sure of is that digital marketing is only going to become more critical to brand success. Leap on these trends now, and you’ll stay one step ahead of the competitors. Were there any types of digital marketing that we missed? Let us know in the comment section below.
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.