Digital marketing is continually changing and going to continue to evolve throughout the rest of 2021 and beyond. We know there seems to be a never ending stream of digital marketing tactics you need to keep up with. But today we’re going to break down previous trends, as well as what’s up and coming in digital marketing to help you keep on top of things.
After all, the sheer importance of digital marketing is showing no signs of slowing down. Now more than ever, it’s incredibly important to have an online presence. To maximize this presence and get the best ROI on your digital marketing efforts, you need to be up to date with the latest and greatest strategies for making an impact online.
There has been a lot of change to the digital marketing landscape because of social media over the past several years. Today’s digital marketing strategy is shifting toward new mediums for attracting and appeasing customers.
Current Digital Marketing Tactics
There is more emphasis today on customer personalization, video, micro-content stories, artificial intelligence, visual search and voice search. The world is moving where technology will be integral in all aspects of our lives, including work, family and social interaction.
Digital trends also suggest customers’ priorities have changed. Customers expect convenience, 24/7 availability, a direct conversation style, accurate information, customized services, and recommendations.
We’re going to talk more about these digital marketing tactics and trends in a moment. But before we dive further into what we’ll see throughout the rest of 2021 and beyond, let’s look back at 2019 and 2020 to see where we’re coming from.
2019 Trends in Digital Marketing Tactics
In 2019, we saw a trend with leading digital marketers. They involved customers and make them a part of the group. This way, customers feel like they are a part of your brand.
The emotional connection is a core component in many top social media marketing trends in 2019. In an ultra-saturated market, consistent content was key to keeping up with the competition. This includes blog content, social media content, and a variety of other digital marketing efforts.
2020 Trends in Digital Marketing Tactics
In 2020, web content was still incredibly important, but what became even more important was the context and quality of this content. Search engines, including Google, placed an increased emphasis on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness when it came to indexing sites.
- A High quality page should have a beneficial purpose and achieve that purpose well. In addition, High quality pages have the following characteristics:
- High level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- A satisfying amount of high quality MC, including a descriptive or helpful title.
- Satisfying website information and/or information about who is responsible for the website. If the page is primarily for shopping or includes financial transactions, then it should have satisfying customer service information.
- Positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the MC on the page.
- Positive reputation of the creator of the MC, if different from that of the website.
(Please note MC stands for Main Content)
Since this update was released, marketers have placed an increased focus on establishing expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. And this an all-encompassing effort that requires a comprehensive approach.
Perhaps it won’t surprise you to hear that this isn’t the only digital marketing tactic to consider. As we’re now over halfway through 2021, things like E-A-T continue to be important, but there’s an ever-growing list of other trends to keep your eye on, too!
Up and Coming Digital Marketing Tactics
With that in mind, let’s discuss the upcoming trends and digital marketing tactics from here on out.
Creating Video Content For New Audiences
Video marketing has several core platforms. YouTube is no longer the only option. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other social networks are also heavily promoting video content.
TikTok is an example of an emerging video platform that has sparked numerous memes and cultural phrases.
Depending on the platform for your video, the format and length will be different for each. An example would be Instagram feed videos are limited to 60 seconds, but IGTV videos can play for up to one hour.
Live videos are also becoming more popular and disrupting the digital marketing industry. Their unedited nature makes them more genuine and entertaining. Brands use live videos to offer insights into their offices, work environment, daily routines and more.
These situations simply better fit with a live video format. As a result, digital marketers have started taking live videos seriously. Brands using video messages to communicate with customers are highly creative and appealing and great for targeting potential customers.
Finally, 360 videos. They offer a different experience. The interactive nature of these videos keeps your audience engaged. Let us explore interactive video content and how it is going to be a marketing tactic in 2021 and beyond.
Interactive Video Content
Video marketing has been trending upward for years. You can see an increase in video usage on social media, websites, and blogs. People are even running successful video blogs or vlogs.
Here are some video marketing statistics that you might find interesting:
- 82% of Twitter users watch video on this platform
- YouTube has over a billion users which are almost one-third of the total number of internet users
- 45% of people watch more than an hour of videos every week on Facebook or YouTube
- More than 500 million hours of videos are viewed on YouTube every day
- More video content is uploaded in 30 days than the major U.S. television networks have created over 30 years.
- 87% of online marketers use video content.
In 2019, we started seeing additional changes in the way users consume videos. Now we are talking about interactive videos. This is a new form of media that many top brands are implementing to increase customer engagement and reach their digital marketing goals.
Your business can use interactive videos for many different purposes such as email, websites, social media, and blogs. Interactive videos increase audience engagement. Consumers are more likely to finish watching a 360-degree video than a regular video, therefore you will get a better ROI, return on investment.
98% of people in the US report that 360-degree videos are more engaging than traditional video formats, and this results in more engagement.
Chatbots are the way of the future. Using artificial intelligence or AI, chatbots can interact with customers via instant messaging in real-time.
Customers love chatbots, especially Mobile Monkey, which offers personalized support, which helps businesses save time, money, and resources; this is why chatbots are gaining popularity.
They listen to you, answer questions and resolve issues within seconds. Chatbot technology learns more about you as you share more information with them. The banking and pharmaceutical industries rely heavily on chatbots to look after small tasks and answer repetitive questions.
Artificial intelligence will push customer service into a new age, offering personalized customer service 24 hours a day 7 days a week. AI is at the heart of this new chatbot wave. It analyzes consumers’ actions and search patterns and pulls information from social media channels to better “train” the chatbot.
This will allow brands to develop a deeper understanding of how to better serve their customers. At the same time, brands can also benefit from chatbot technology by saving on customer service. Rather than simple customer issues eating up a lot of their staff’s time, a chatbot can often solve these problems a lot faster, and for less money!
Whether it means keeping your customer service smaller or utilizing those team members’ skills elsewhere, there are a number of advantages to including chatbots in your customer service strategy.
You won’t get far online without coming across some type of influencer content in 2021, and this digital marketing tactic is showing no signs of slowing down.
If you’re new to this concept, it essentially means a person with an online presence who is paid to endorse products or brands in some ways. For example, an Instagrammer with hundreds of thousands of followers might get a hefty paycheck to wear a certain piece of jewelry in one of their posts. Then, they tag the brand and direct their followers to check it out for themselves. It’s a form of online advertising that benefits not only the influencer but brands themselves who are able to generate a bigger reach, often at a lower price than other marketing efforts.
The Personal Aspect
Your next product or service should be the result of your customers’ feedback. Using social media platforms will allow you to offer interactive and customized brand experiences. Brands should start thinking about bringing a personalized touch across all of their marketing channels from here on out
You can increase sales and customer loyalty by working on personalized emails, content, and experiences. This opens the door to having a stronger connection with your customers.
Creating personalized email marketing campaigns that deliver relevant messages with the right tone and will show you care about your customers. A core part of your digital marketing strategy should be about offering the same level of attention to all of your customers, whether they are first-time shoppers or repeat consumers.
Each day, new competitors emerge in virtually every market. What often makes one business successful over another that offers virtually the exact same services is the human element. How does one brand make consumers feel over the other? Chances are, the one that exemplifies connection, openness, and sheer humanity will win out!
Digital marketing tactics put value on every moment visitors spend browsing your site. However, micro-moments work by delivering your message in the right format at the right time.
The shorter nature of micro-content works with people’s shorter attention spans. Most marketers have started to design micro-content marketing strategies.
The trend of six-second videos (which started with Vine) took the world by force. Followed by the age of five- or six-second ads on YouTube. Now, digital marketing agencies started to explore the six-second territory to reach out to their audiences.
Google’s concept of micro-moments has been a product in the making for some time. As micro-content becomes more popular, we will see more new platforms and marketing opportunities appear in this space.
We all know 140 characters became the preferred way of social communication on Twitter. We need to recognize that Twitter and Vine are a form of microblogging.
Insights of Data
Analytics, data, reports, and dashboards are in every marketing and sales technology product. However, understanding what the data is telling and what to do with the data still is elusive to some. Marketing strategies should be data-driven, but those are only as good as the person reading the data.
Insights, when properly prioritized, will drive the action plans that optimize tactical performance and improve results. Tools like MAXG, SEMrush, and Moz, provide insight and recommendations to improve your performance.
And remember, it’s one thing to collect insights, but it’s a whole other ballgame to actually take action based on these insights. In fact, this can often be the differentiating factor between what makes one business more successful than the next: Which brand actually listens to consumers? Studies the data? Takes action based on what their research tells them?
There’s a reason market research is a non-negotiable for successful businesses. Without it, you’re simply guessing about how users act, what they like, what they don’t, and what your next moves should be.
With the age of smartphones, digital agencies cannot solely rely on traditional marketing channels. They need to create content that people can read, share and store on their mobile devices. Most digital marketing strategies today are mobile-friendly.
Image search and voice search are two examples. They have both changed the principles of search engine marketing (SEM). People looking for a product upload an image and search for similar ones. Pinterest was the leader in visual search.
Voice search is the future of search engine marketing. People use phones and smart speakers (like Alexa or Google Assistant) to search the internet and hear their search results. Smart speakers are making search more convenient, organized, and interactive. Recent studies have shown that 60% of smart speaker owners use them four or more times per day. This number is likely to increase as smart home technology increases and develops in the coming years.
Advertising on Smart Speakers
Even with the growing number of people asking questions of Alexa, Siri, and Google Home; the use of smart speaker marketing and advertising opportunities is not prevalent. However, there is the appearance that this is about to change. Your marketing efforts could benefit from this emerging trend in 2020.
Let’s go back to an example of smart speaker marketing from 2017. Google Home users noticed that a universal ad for Disney’s Beauty and The Beast automatically began playing shortly after their scheduled morning reminders. These are called flash briefings. These types of ads were rare and infrequent in 2017. But today, this digital marketing tactic is growing in popularity.
In 2019 and 2020, we saw more refined, less invasive, examples of branded advertising on our smart speakers. A customer-friendly way to advertise on smart speakers is to present what’s known as a “branded skill.” As proof that “branded skill” works, according to Digiday: Patrón gets more than 6,000 queries a month for its Alexa skill.
Optimizing For Voice Search
Most brands, including Amazon, may not be ready to explore smart speaker advertising yet. They should start to explore ways of optimizing their content for voice search.
As reported by Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land, 20% of all Google search queries now take place through voice search. What is even more impressive is that 71% of all mobile users between the ages of 18 and 29 use voice assistants on their smartphones.
It probably makes sense for all businesses, not just big enterprises to start optimizing their content for voice search. Marketing experts have lots of advice to offer on how to do this, which is especially relevant for 2021 and beyond.
Facebook and Instagram Ads
The volume of advertisements on this platform has grown nearly eight times in just four years. In 2018, 31% of brands using Instagram are currently using ads and this number is up from 24% in 2017, 12% in 2016, and only 4% in 2015.
Since Facebook owns Instagram, businesses have an easier time managing ads on both of these social sites from the same interface. The format makes it much easier for companies to create ads targeting the right audience, based on their needs.
Even if you are not running any paid ads at the moment, it might be an excellent strategy to at least try them in your marketing strategy as time goes on. Otherwise, your competition might start to gain headway and steal your customers on social media which, for your business, is the best place to engage with them.
Future Digital Marketing Tactics & Trends
Digital marketing strategies are constantly evolving and tuning in with consumers’ needs and demands. If it feels like you wake up each day to a new digital marketing tactic you need to learn about, you’re not wrong. But there are certain areas that will be more beneficial to focus on. We might venture to say video, voice, visual search, and artificial intelligence are on the top of most digital marketers’ minds.
After all, it’s nearly impossible to pull off every digital marketing strategy successfully when you’re doing it on your own. Not to mention, keeping up with everything else that goes into running a business.
But one of the great benefits of outsourcing your digital marketing strategy to the pros is not only getting a lot of time back to work on your business, but also knowing you’re getting the full scope of services that’s right for your business.
Remember: digital marketing strategies can bring sustainable growth, and sometimes viral growth. If your digital marketing plan does not account for these emerging trends throughout the remainder of 2021 and beyond, it is time to talk to the experts.
The team at Blue Water Marketing can help create a digital marketing strategy to implement AI, Social Media Ads, Voice search, and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to see how we can help your business succeed in the new year.
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