The global changes in 2020 will be considered thoroughly in the digital marketing aspect of 2021. Brands face a completely new consumer behaviour ground, reshaped by leaps in technology and mass social changes. It’s nearly cliche, but “everything is changed now,” and digital marketers and their clients had better set their sails for breaking seas. Here are nine trends in digital marketing in 2021.
9 Trends in Digital Marketing in 2021
Concentrate on the "Featured Snippet" in Google SERPs
Looking as high up as feasible on relevant Google searches has long been the best of SEO. Different SERP results have served as vehicles, from the Map Pack to the “Shopping” results to displayed YouTube videos, while competing with more sponsored content. Google has showered support on its paying customers. There’s a new kid on the block, though—a “featured snippet” of the highlighted text, which Google uses to attempt to answer the user’s question without the user clicking on anything. This presents a problem for digital marketers, of course—if users can get answers without clicking on anything, how do you place the brand message in front of the user? The hurdle is to rank for the “featured snippet,” giving just sufficient information to top interest and get the user to click for more context.
Customer segmentation is not new, but we require it to gain new heights in 2021. Large tech businesses like Google and Facebook have so much data stored on their users; they understand them on a deeper level than a human brain ever could. Manual segmentation is becoming obsolete. From 100 or so engagements, the huge digital ad algorithms can micro-segment the entire audience. Of course, the goal is more engagement and customer retention, leading to lower ad costs and higher customer lifetime value.
Automated Bidding for Google Ads
Automated bidding on Google Ads debuted in 2016, but we anticipate it to come into its own in 2021. 2020 may be the last year that digital marketers manually tweak their Google ads for optimal performance. Automatic bidding can squeeze and optimise the ad properly than any human digital marketer. Will this make digital marketers obsolete? Not if it saves them up to give time and energy to other ways of digital marketing—not just the advertising nitty gritty but the overall brand awareness, which is much more difficult to automate.
Shoppable Posts on Social Media
One of the renowned digital marketing stories of 2020 is that Instagram users bought one or more products in their presence in a sponsored IG post. We require social media platforms to blast as a channel for eCommerce sales, with more comfortable and easier Integrations to allow users to complete their purchase without leaving the app. Could businesses trade only on a social media portal? It remains to be seen, but someone is bound to try!
SEO for Voice Search
Voice search is the next edge of SEO. Users prefer to speak into their search bars instead of type, whether they use voice-activated AI assistants on their desktops or use their smartphones like walkie-talkies. SEO experts see that voice searches produce different results than text searches. We expect 2021 to kick off a Gold Rush to crack the SEO code for voice search to take more of that organic market share.
SEO for Image Search
Thanks to Google Lens—Google’s groundbreaking image-recognition AI algorithm—search engine marketing is moving out of the domain of words and into the domain of pictures and videos. Google Reverse-Image Search was just the start. Users can now enter images into Google to receive a variety of contexts. They could snap a picture of a plant and enter the image as a search to find out whether the plant is poisonous. Or they could upload a friend’s Instagram picture and geo-target that great “fear-of-missing-out”-inducing snap to its specific location. Image-searching describes another stream of traffic for digital marketers to hack into and include their customer brands into.
Ad-Blocker Arms Race
A whopping 27% of Internet users are expected to have adopted ad-blockers by 2021, cutting off a significant revenue source for many digital marketing experts and their clients. This won’t change every traffic stream, but enough digital marketers will feel the pressure that we anticipate to see a play of high-stakes chess kick-off. We all know how arms races work. Marketers will find methods to avoid ad blockers. So the ad blocker developers will enhance their products and fill the holes, just in time for marketers to discover new flaws to use. Forget being a hacker. If you like preventing security and sticking it to the man, become a digital marketer in 2021.
Non-Linear Customer Journeys
With more and more commerce occurring online, consumers expect to communicate with their brands holistically—sometimes purchasing, sometimes checking in on social media, sometimes buying directly, other times waiting a week to buy. We anticipate 2021 to lead in a reduced focus on the direct customer journey, which frog-marches sights by a guided process of Awareness-Consideration-Decision, and an increased focus on a diffuse constellation of touchpoints that create a brand everywhere in the customer’s everyday life.
The Age of the Ephemeral
Snapchat pioneered the idea of “ephemeral” content that only lasts for a set period (usually 24 hours) before disappearing into the ether. Snapchat users alone generate 1 million Snaps per day. Other social media platforms noticed Snaps’ popularity and responded with analogs like Instagram Stories and Facebook’s MyDay. In 2021, digital marketers will get productive to tap into the user attention devoured by ephemeral content. The structural disadvantage of brief content is that it can’t be reused, making it harder to automate. But with so many eyeballs on quick content, it can’t be ignored.